This time of year, ice is a common sight on a residential roof. Excessive ice can be damaging to your shingles, but removal can be dangerous and should be done with care when needed. Plus, there are many methods to breaking down ice that can do more harm than good to your shingles. The most common method we’ve seen is homeowners using de-icing salts on their roof. This is a huge problem, so our residential roofing experts put a list of the top three risks that de-icing salt can pose to your roof.
1. Corrosive chemicals. Most rock salts contain chemicals such as sodium chloride, magnesium chloride and other chloride chemicals which are extremely corrosive. These chemicals, while effective on ice, can also eat right through your shingles. Damaged shingles can lead to leaks and further damage!
2. Secondary damage. Once the ice melts, de-icing salt can run-off into your gutters and onto your siding. Just like the shingles, the chemicals are very likely to damage your siding, gutters and downspouts. This can lead to major problems such as leaks and foundation problems if your gutters start to send run-off water to the wrong places. The run-off can even damage your driveway, sidewalk and front stoops and porches.
3. Toxic run-off. If you have plants near the side of your home and use a rock salt to remove ice from your roof, the chemical run-off can kill your plant life. It is also dangerous to animals. Bird feeders, fish ponds, pet bowls, etc. can all be affected by toxic run-off from sodium chloride or other chemical-based salts.
Not sure if the ice on your residential roof is causing a problem? The most obvious sign is large icicles hanging from your gutters. They might look pretty, but this is a sure sign that your gutters are full of ice which means ice is most likely forming on your roof too.
Don’t worry – there are alternatives to de-icing salts! The best method is through prevention by investing in some heated cables. Since we’ve had a warmer winter, there could still be time for you to place the cables before the bad weather hits. However, if you already have snow or ice on your roof, stay safely on the ground and don’t attempt to access your roof. Safety comes first at Coates Bros! You can also use a roof rake to remove snow from your roof safely from the ground. Removing the snow will help increase the temperature and rid the roof of ice.
If you want more advice on how to handle the ice on your roof from our shingle experts, feel free to give us a call at 440-322-1343. If you think you might have a leak, schedule a free estimate!