How to De-Ice Your Roof Without Damaging It

icy roof

Ice buildup is a serious problem for a lot of Colorado homes during winter. Most ice buildup is caused by “ice dams,” which are created when warm air from inside the home heats the roof, melting the snow, which then re-freezes on the edge of your roof where the temperature is lower. This does not allow melted water and snow to escape off your roof, placing a significant additional load on the support structure as well as creating leaks from stagnant water that is unable to escape to your gutters.

Therefore, it is strongly advised that homeowners de-ice their roof regularly in order to prevent this kind of buildup from occurring. Be careful when doing so, however, as some de-icing techniques can cause serious damage to your roof. Here are a few tips for de-icing that won’t further harm your roof.

Don’t Use an Axe or Pick

The old-school way of de-icing your roof is to get up on a ladder and hack away at the ice with a pick or an axe. This is an effective way to remove ice, but this requires extreme caution—many people over-chop and damage their roof. Not to mention if you dislodge too much, you could be in serious danger of getting swept off the ladder by sliding or falling ice, causing serious injury. Spare yourself the risk.

Roof Tablets

These are pretty safe as they’re designed to remove ice from your roof, but may involve you getting the ladder out unless you can perfectly land the tablet where you want every single time. That and they also take a really long time to get the job done. Many people often consider them not worth the money.

Fill Pantyhose with Salt or Other Ice Melting Compound

Taking a mesh stocking, filling it with rock salt or other ice-melting compound and laying it across your ice dam can help melt. This still requires you to break out the ladder though, which is always risky in extremely cold weather. And like the roof tablets, this can take a seriously long time. Not to mention certain compounds are only effective down to a certain temperature, so if it gets any colder then it won’t work at all.

Heated Cable

These are a somewhat effective method of de-icing. So long as you get a heated cable that is water-tight and can withstand outdoor use, this could be a very effective way to de-ice with very little effort. While you can put them up after snow has fallen, they’re more effective if you install them before the first big snowfall. Once the dam has melted enough, it should be easy to remove.

If your roof is damaged by an ice dam, or an ill-fated attempt to remove it, do not hesitate to contact Divine Roofing, Inc. Our Colorado Springs roofers are highly-trained and certified in the latest repair techniques and can restore the roof over your head in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Call Divine Roofing, Inc. today at (719) 497-1005 to schedule a service or an estimate.
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