Safe Ways to De-ice a Roof
- Salt stockings are a home remedy to de-icing a roof that is safe and reliable. To make salt stockings, you fill ladies' stockings with de-icing salt and tie the stockings off at the open end. Make as many as you need to completely line all of your gutters. If you place the stockings in the gutters before the snow falls, then the salt will prevent the accumulation of ice in the gutters. Check your stockings every week during snow fall periods to see if they need to be refilled. If you forget to put the salt stockings in your gutters before the snow fall, then carefully chip away the top inch of ice buildup in your gutters and place the stockings on top. The stockings will begin to melt the ice and create safe passages for the water to travel down the gutter downspout.
- Another preventive measure for de-icing a roof is to use a snow rake to remove the snow from your roof. A snow rake is a plastic shovel-type of device at the end of a telescoping arm. Most snow rake kits can reach even the top of second-story roofs. After each snowfall, use the snow rake to remove the snow from your roof. Without snow on your roof, there is no ice buildup. Be careful not to damage the shingles on your roof when raking off the snow.
- One of the safest and most reliable ways to de-ice a roof is to install heat cables on the edges of your roof, in the gutters, down the downspouts and in any valleys that two sections of roof create. The cables are completely safe for any kind of roof and plug in to a standard outlet in your home. During and after a large snowfall, plug the cables in and they will keep ice out of your gutters. Run the cables for a few days after a snowfall and you will avoid ice damage and de-ice your roof.
- Desperate times sometimes require desperate measures. According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing website, using a hammer to de-ice a roof is safer than an axe. If you did not take the necessary measures to prevent ice in your gutters, then breaking the ice up with a hammer is one of the only ways that will work. Wear protective goggles, as ice pieces will fly around and could cause injury. Break the ice up in the gutters and then remove it by hand. Only strike ice that is in the gutters. Avoid hitting your actual roof and be careful when removing ice chunks that you do not remove shingles as well.