Even in South Carolina, we can get winter weather severe enough to leave behind a trail of treacherous ice. The question is, what should you do? Is deicing necessary? Protecting your roof is a priority, especially in the winter. Here’s what you need to know about winter ice, what to do about it, and the advantages of deicing your roof.
What Ice Does to Your Roof
When the temperatures drop, and the humidity rises, you’ll get ice during the winter months. Ice can take a toll on your landscaping and driving conditions, but it can also compromise your roof.
- Cracks and pre-existing damage – water can seep into existing cracks and holes, and then when the cold weather moves in, that water freezes and causes expansion. This worsens the damage and increases the chance of leaks once the ice melts.
- Ice dams – when the water from your roof freezes in the process of running off, either in or around your gutters or at the edge of the roof, it causes ice dams. These dams prevent additional water runoff leading to excess water on and under your shingles, increasing the chance that excess water will end up inside your home.
- Condensation – the cold from the ice on the roof creates condensation when it meets the warmth inside your home if you don’t have proper insulation. That condensation means interior damage as well as roof damage.
The Necessity of Deicing
What does deicing do for your roof? It protects it from damage caused by extreme winter weather and saves you money on costly repairs. But doing deicing right is critical to taking advantage of its benefits. There are different methods to clear your roof.
- Snow Rake – using a snow rake is like using a shovel, and just like shovels, they come in different sizes and shapes. They work to move snow off the roof and are helpful when there is snow on top of the ice and for roof edge deicing.
- Ice Pick – when ice dams build up in the gutters and edges of your roof, an ice pick can be effective for removal. Carefully use the ice pick in the gutters and downspouts until the ice breaks up enough to scoop it out.
- Ice Melt – many homeowners wonder, does ice melt damage roofs? The answer depends on which product you use. Some contain corrosives that can do more damage than the ice you’re trying to remove or prevent. Make sure you don’t buy anything with sodium chloride or calcium chloride, which can lead to roof damage. Look for calcium magnesium acetate and ammonium sulfate for a safe way to deice using ice melt.
One of the best ways to protect your roof from damage this winter is prevention. Proactively deicing using ice melt before the storm and proper ice removal after it will help you avoid damage and leaks and will keep water from seeping under your shingles and into your home. Relying on a roofing professional to inspect your roof for damage before the extreme weather moves in and for an evaluation after a storm is another way to ensure your roof is in good condition so it can continue to protect you and your home. Contact the Premiere Roofing team for all of your roofing needs, including roof inspections and guidance on effective and safe roof deicing.