How to Use Ice Melt Safely in Gutters

Winter storms bring snow and much more. They cover your driveways and walkways with dangerous ice. That ice can also spell trouble for your roof and gutters. The added weight that snow and ice bring to gutters can be a significant problem. Add to that to ice dams occurring during the daily thaws and nightly refreezes, you could have some concerning issues on your hands. A lot of people often wonder how to alleviate this hazard. Have you considered how to use ice melt safely in gutters?

Before we tackle how to use ice melt in gutters, we should first take a look at why. Ice dams are large sections of ice that form on the edge of your roof and prevent melting water from flowing into your gutters. Often as they build up during thaws and refreezes, they pack gutters solid, causing excessive weight issues. Ice dams can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause leaks as snow melts. 

One way to prevent them from occurring is to remove snow from your roof. You can find roof rakes at most home improvement stores that work well for this. If you start to see icicles forming, then you have waited too long, and ice dams may have begun forming. Using a ladder, carefully check to see what is going on. If the icicles are only on the edge of your gutters, with no ice buildup behind them, then you are okay. However, if ice is starting to form in the gutter and along the edge of the roof, you have ice dams. 

Do not attempt to break or chisel away the ice. This could ultimately lead to more damage. Take a nylon stocking and fill it with chloride-based ice melt. Do not use rock salt as it will damage your roof. Lay the ice melt-filled stocking vertically on the ice dam so that one end is pointed to the top of your roof. This will allow a channel to melt in the ice dam and provide a path for water to flow. Make up multiple ice melt-filled stockings to use in the area of concern. 

Are you faced with ice dams this winter? Gutters sagging or, worse yet, collapsing from the weight of ice? Give Bealing Roofing & Exteriors, Inc., a call, and let us take a look and suggest some solutions.