One of the things my husband was hoping to avoid when we moved house was having to do too much raking in the fall. Our old house was surrounded by trees and the raking took forever. This house has plenty of trees close by, but because of the prevailing winds and a lack of fences or hedges, most of the leaves just blow away.
This year is the first year ever though that he has had to rake the roof! Not for leaves, obviously, but snow. Usually there's enough of a break between storms, and the temperatures are warm enough that the snow melts. This year the snow has been building up. Looking at our neighbor's house, I would guess they have 18 inches of snow on the roof right now. Getting the snow off the roof is important for two reasons. 1) If there's enough of it, it can actually cause the roof to collapse. 2) Heat from the house causes snow on the roof to melt. The snow and ice in the gutters does not melt as fast, so the water coming off the roof has nowhere to go and it can end up backing up under the shingles and into your house.
I was surprised to find that there is actually a blog that is about nothing but roof rakes! I have to say, having tried to use ours this afternoon, I'd rather rake leaves. For one thing, the weather's usually a lot pleasanter when I'm out raking leaves!