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How To Properly De-Ice Your Roof

heat loss – icicles hanging on house roof
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When roof ice takes the form of icicles, you may stop to admire how dainty and attractive they look. However, in order to prevent long-term damage, it’s highly recommended that you get as much snow and ice off your roof as possible. Icicles may (or may not) be a sign of an ice dam, so be sure to start some investigating if you see them forming. If you haven’t read our article on ice dams, click on over now before we discuss how you can safely and effectively deice your roof.

What Not To Do

Hack At It With An Ax

While this may be a tempting solution for some, chances are that you will end up hurting either yourself or your roof. Doing this may even void the warranty on your shingles, so avoid this method at all costs.

What To Do With Caution

Use An Ice Pick

Using an ice pick poses the same danger as an ax. While it is smaller and easier to control, you may poke holes in your shingles or sidings, or otherwise damage your roof. More likely than not, using an ice pick also requires you to stand on a ladder and work at the same time, which poses the risk of a slip and fall.

What You Can Safely Do

Work With A Good Old-Fashioned Snow Rake

The snow rake can do no wrong. For the most part, a snow rake gives you the ability to scrape snow and icy bits off your roof while still staying on the ground. In general, it is good practice to rake snow off your roof after every snowfall.

Deicing Chemicals

If you have a more severe ice and snow problem on your roof, we recommend purchasing a de-icing product. However, not all products are made equally. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), cheap and potent deicers are “highly corrosive and should not be used on a roof.”  The worst chemical offenders are sodium chloride and calcium chloride and should be avoided.

Chunky, rocky de-icer will cut through ice quickly while powdery types are slower and require thicker layers of product. Liquid products work well on thick blocks of ice, but must be used in mild weather and should be kept for small areas or patches.

Spray The Ice With Warm or Hot Water

This method should only be used in mild temperatures where the water will not freeze and exacerbate the roof ice problem. Simply put some hot or warm water in a spray bottle and spray it on roof ice. Be sure to go slowly and handle the hot water carefully. The goal is to melt the ice so that dams and gutters can drain normally. This method is not effective for long-term use, but is a helpful and simple way to restore proper drainage in a pinch.

Deicing is always a headache. In general, we wouldn’t say that it’s the type of thing that homeowners should deal with on their own. Because of slippery conditions, a risk of personal danger is also present. That’s why having a team of roof experts that are dedicated to maintaining and upkeeping your roof is the most ideal, stress-free solution. Contact a skilled and well-established roofing company, such as Greene Roofing, with your questions, concerns, and ice woes today.

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