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Under One Roof

Canadian Roofing Reference Manual

2.2.3 Power Broom

Power brooms are used mostly on re-roofing and resurfacing jobs. However, they can be used to clean paved work areas at ground level as well. On tear-offs, a power broom can be used to remove loose gravel into windrows for easy removal. A second pass of the broom may be required to remove the remaining gravel and dust. Once the tear-off is complete, a pass with the power broom can quickly clean up the remaining debris. Power brooms are also used to sweep the existing deck making it ready to accept the new roof system.

Power brooms can be used to remove snow and ice in winter and ponding water in the summer. Power brooms can also help with the daily clean up, and on the ground for final clean up at the end of job.


Always select a secure area on the roof to hoist equipment. Ensure that the area is clear of all overhead obstacles such as power lines. Make sure that the hoisting equipment is capable of lifting the power sweeper that has an average weight of 159 kg (350 lb).

Power sweepers are usually produced with a hook eye for hoisting. This is the only place to connect the hoist hook. Hoisting using any other part of the sweeper could damage the equipment.

Before you operate a power broom, or any other mechanized equipment, make sure you read and understand the Operations Manual for the equipment that you are operating.

Safe Operations

Always wear proper clothes and protective equipment when operating a power broom. A long sleeve shirt with the cuffs buttoned, proper fitting pants with no cuffs, safety glasses or a face shield, and safety boots. Always wear safety glasses or a face shield to avoid eye injury from flying dust and debris. Also, wear a dust mask or a breathing respirator to prevent inhaling dust and debris.

Keep your hands, feet, hair, and loose clothing away from the engine and all moving parts. Also stay clear of the brush when running.

Always use the slowest speed possible to do the sweeping and never sweep stone and debris towards people, buildings, vehicles, or anything that could be damaged by the flying gravel and debris.

Before beginning sweeping operation, clear the area of all obstacles in the way. Keep the work area clear and remove objects that could cause an injury (electrical cable etc.). Never operate the power sweeper within 3 m (10 ft) of the roof edge or deck opening, and never operate the broom with your back towards the roof edge or deck openings.

Typical Controls

  1. The tractor drive is typically controlled by the tractor drive control lever located on the left To engage the tractor drive, pull the lever up against the handle grip. The tractor drive is disengaged when the handle is down or in the released position.
  2. The brush drive is typically controlled by a lever located on the right To engage the brush drive, pull the lever up against the handle grip. The brush drive is disengaged when the handle is down or released.
  3. Always engage the tractor drive before engaging the This will prevent any possible rear thrust of the sweeper, as the brush turns in a counter clockwise rotation and could push the equipment back causing you to fall.

The only time the brush should be engaged before the tractor drive is to check the controls and to make brush adjustments.


The castors can be raised or lowered to allow more or less of the brush to come in contact with the roof surface. This is helpful in allowing the operator to sweep at different depths. The casters should be raised or lowered so that just the tips of the brushes come in contact with the sweeping surface.