How to DE-Ice Your Roof

November 22, 2019

We’ve talked about how to prevent ice from building up on your roof earlier this week. But what about if you didn’t take the time to winterize your roof and we’re suddenly hit with snow and freezing rain?

Why You Should De-Ice Your Roof Right Away

Build up of ice on your roof can cause water damage and leaks within your walls, ceiling, gutters, and more. It’s better to de-ice your roof the moment you notice ice dams forming. If not, you risk the ice dams becoming bigger and eventually causing more damage. Avoid costly repairs by de-icing your roof as soon as possible. Or, better yet, take the time to prevent them from forming at all!

Safety First

There are a variety of methods for de-icing your roof. However, always put your safety first. We don’t recommend anyone climb their roof at any time and we further discourage doing so when there is rain or snow present.

If you are using a ladder to reach the edge of your home, always make sure that your ladder is sturdy and secure before you climb up. It’s also recommended to have a partner who can help spot you when doing roof work on the ladder. Also, beware of falling ice or snow when clearing away icicles from the edge of your roof.

De-Icing Your Roof

Ice melting products

Never use rock salt to melt snow or ice on your roof, as this can damage your shingles and decrease the longevity of your roof. You can find other ice melting products that are designed for ice dams on roofs at your local hardware store. Make sure to follow the instructions accordingly.

Keep edges of roof clear

Prevention is the best way to avoid ice dams on your roof, but if ice is already starting to form, you can try to keep the edges of your roof clear so that the ice dam doesn’t get bigger. As mentioned above, beware of chipping icicles off your roof; falling ice is not just a hazard to your safety, but you also want to be careful not to damage your home’s exterior.

Another way to keep ice off the edge of your roof is by clearing away any snow or debris that is sitting on the edge of your roof. This will allow existing snow or ice to melt away and flow away from your home. If accessible, you can remove snow by lightly sweeping the edge of your roof with a broom. For multi-story homes, it’s best to call your local roofer to remove snow or ice so that you can avoid climbing on top of your room.

Call a professional

A quick Google search may result in tutorials on how to chisel away ice dams and icicles off your roof. However, this can ultimately damage your roof shingles and gutters if not done properly. Additionally, it’s risky to hack away at icicles above your head! Your local roofer will be better equipped and trained to remove ice from your roof without causing any further damage or costly repairs.

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