Snow falls and then the sun comes out. Now the fresh snow on your roof begins to melt, and create ice. It’s always best to take preventative measures when it comes to your roof, but occasionally these methods fail and now you are looking for ways to remove ice build up on your roof and reduce the snow load.

ice hanging from roof

Icicles hanging from your roof may simply be a sign that snow is melting and you should remove them to prevent damage, or that an ice dam has formed. Take a look at this post for more on ice damming. Here’s some ways your can properly remove ice from your roof and preserve its longevity.

Use a Snow Rake

The best way to de-ice a roof is to prevent it from happening in the first place. A simple tool to buy for this job is a snow rake. This method allows you to remain safely on the ground while shovelling snow and ice from your roof. A good habit to get into, is to rake off your roof after every snow fall.

Install Heat Cables

eavestrough

Heat cables are another good way to prevent ice dams from forming and to de-ice your roof. They are beneficial to be installed in problem areas where ice tends to form on your roof for instance, at the eaves of your roof. Other common areas for ice to buildup are:

  • Low angle roofs
  • In the valleys of your roof
  • Around chimneys are skylights

Heat cables should be installed by a professional to effectively minimize ice dams from forming. While this option is less maintenance than the snow rake, it will be sure to increase your electricity bill if left on throughout the winter. They still need to be monitored regularly to ensure they are not overheating and using more power than they should be.

De-Icing Chemicals

Depending on the severity of the ice buildup on your roof, using de-icing chemicals is the way to go. With that being said, not every product is made equal. The CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) states cheap, potent de-icers are “highly corrosive and should not be used on a roof.” The products you want to avoid will contain sodium chloride and calcium chloride.

 

If ice buildup is a common problem for your home, this may be pointing to an underlying issue. A roof inspection may be a good idea. To check attic ventilation, insulation and if there’s any roof damage causing ice buildup to be a recurring problem in the winter. Contact us to get an inspection to keep your home safe this winter.