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How to De-Ice Your Roof During the Winter


Icicles hanging off your roof can be fun to look at, and we all have enjoyed knocking down one or two. These classic winter staples are just one of the few different forms of roof ice. Depending on the type of roof ice and how it is handled, there could be some more serious issues in the long term. 

The Different Forms of Roof Ice Are:

  • Icicles
  • Ice dam, which is a block of ice that is formed at the edge of the roof and prevents melted snow and water from draining properly
  • Frozen gutters 

If roof ice isn’t taken care of properly, it could cause serious damage to your roof. There are plenty of ways to correctly de-ice your roof during the winter. However, it’s important to note that these are only temporary fixes. They will not stop ice from forming on your roof when another storm or winter season comes along. 

Use a Snow Rake

After visually checking out your roof and seeing where the ice or ice dams have formed, you can scrape off those areas using a snow rake. You should avoid standing on a ladder or the roof itself when using a snow rake, as you might slip or fall and get seriously injured. Remain on the ground when using one, and avoid larger chunks of ice or ice particles that may fall throughout the de-icing process.

Try an Ice Pick

Depending on the state of the ice as well as how much, you might be able to use an ice pick to chip away at the affected areas of your roof. Unlike a snow rake, you can use a ladder with an ice pick to get closer, but make sure it’s propped against a sturdy wall. 

Apply De-Icing Chemicals

When purchasing products that make the ice melt, be sure to avoid ones that contain calcium chloride or sodium chloride. These chemicals can lead to corrosion, which will cause a temporary fix to melt the ice, but a long-term issue that damages your roof.

De-icing chemicals come in a few different forms: rocky, powder, or liquid. Depending on which type you choose, make sure to spread the product evenly on the roof’s problem areas to help melt the ice.

Common Mistakes When De-Icing Your Roof

Now that we’ve gone over some of the best ways to de-ice your roof, it’s important to also keep in mind what NOT to do.

  • Don’t assume you can handle it all yourself. You’ll likely need professional help, such as a roofing company, to avoid seriously damaging your roof and/or shingles.
  • Don’t use a hammer or shovel to break off large chunks of ice.
  • Don’t climb on the roof to de-ice or take care of snow removal.
  • Don’t use chemicals that will damage other parts of your roof.
  • Don’t let ice and snow build up, especially if you live in an area susceptible to multiple winter storms a year.

If not removed or taken care of correctly, ice on your roof can cause serious damage. Professionals such as roofing contractors can help you with this task – and for your safety, they also prefer that you call them to handle it.

That said, there’s no need to research “best roofers near me” this winter. Either before you attempt to take on the task yourself or after you’ve covered the de-icing basics, contact Best Contracting and have the professionals take care of the rest.

As Pennsylvania’s #1 Residential & Commercial Roofing and Siding Contractor serving not only Lancaster, PA, but many other surrounding areas, we’re here to help you with all your roofing and siding needs! No matter the season, Best Contracting is there for any reason! Contact us today to get started. 


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