How to De-Ice your Roof

When you hear “protect your investment”, it is almost second nature to send your mind straight to low yielding bonds and AAA stocks. The investment that people tend to overlook is actually their roof. It is one of the most expensive investments in the house that can have the greatest return on investment while it acts as an insulator keeping the inside at whatever temperature you have it set at.

One of the common problems that people fail to acknowledge, especially in California’s Bay Area, is the damage that ice does to your roof. While we fail to see blizzards and icicles, we do see plenty of moisture along with many winter nights reaching well below freezing temperatures. As ice forms, it wears away at the shingles and eventually starts cracking the roof, causing further damage that can result in leaks and eventually a whole roof overhaul.

To prevent the further damage to your roof, we compiled a list of tips as to how you can easily de ice your roof and save yourself the trouble and money of eventually getting it fixed.

Don’t Use Hot Water

Alex Pitt, the director of snow clearing equipment for Tracmaster Landscape Machinery Specialists, has strongly advised to “resist the temptation to pour hot water over ice to melt it. This is a short term solution, as once it cools it will freeze over the existing ice making the problem worse”. Another problem with just using hot water is the quantity it’s going to take to really penetrate the ice. The water will fall down your roof too quick to make a lasting difference and add to the possibility of more freezing water. We also recommend that you do not pour boiling water on your rooftop. Some people may do it on their driveways, but your roof likely wasn’t made of concrete and water at that temperature could possibly damage and discolor the shingles.

Do It Yourself Deicer

The chances that you will find deicing products at your nearest Raley’s or Wal Mart are almost slim to none up here in the Bay Area, but no need to fear. We wouldn’t recommend using some of the liquid products anyways due to possibility of discoloration from the chemicals, and throwing salt or other minerals up there will just end up as something you’ll have to clean up a little later on, so we’ve found a way that you can penetrate the ice with these common household goods:

  • Half A Gallon of Warm Water
  • Six drops of dish soap
  • Two ounces of rubbing alcohol

All you need to do is mix these together, shaken or stirred, and then go ahead and spray it or pour it wherever the ice may be on your roof. This solution will stay much longer and do a much more effective job on melting the ice than hot water along with avoiding the chemicals and toxins from your normal store deicers. It’s also another way to save a few bucks…economic power to the DIY people!

This should do just the trick, but please let us know if ice is causing any real damage like creating cracks or holes in the roof. Also be aware that if you already have shingles that are starting to crack and one of the rare but possible freezing nights is coming in, ice can make the cracks worse, so be sure to give your roof some attention as soon as possible. Other than that, a common frost isn’t too much to worry about and your roof should be fine.

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