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Can I use calcium chloride on my roof/gutters to melt snow?

Can I use calcium chloride on my roof/gutters to melt snow?


  #1  
Old 02-19-10, 12:16 PM
L
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Can I use calcium chloride on my roof/gutters to melt snow?

I live in PA and my gutters are frozen completely with 5" of ice on top of that. Today is the first day above freezing that we have had for a couple of weeks and the snow is beginning to melt. The shingles are showing on the top 5' of my roof but it is 12" deep from there down. In a few places it has slid down and my overhang has 14" or snow and ice out beyond the gutter creating an extended overhang.

We have been breaking as much hanging ice from the gutter as we can to try and keep the weight down but much of it is too thick to break. I was wondering if it were a good or a bad idea to buy some calcium chloride and throw handfulls up onto the edge of the roof and gutter?

The thought is that melting the edges will allow the snow to slide down and hopefully off the roof and maybe eliminate an ice jam/backup situation
 
  #2  
Old 02-19-10, 12:48 PM
B
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They have pellets intended for that purpose. My concern with the CC is corosion, and lawn damage. Plus what do you do if a dam still forms and dumps into your home, now with a mix of CC.

I have had to deal with ice dams often and here are some of the cautions.
Remove any snow, it acts like an insulator to increase the melting.

Removing ice when it is very cold will remove shingles as well. You have to wait for the sun or really good temps to free the ice from your roof.

If it is a true ice dam, there is water behind it. First sign of leaking through your roof will be water/ice dripping from the soffits or down your siding.

Carefully open a drain path to release the water.

If the sun is on that side, sand will warm and work a path through. But you would want several days of warm weather.

I have purchased but not tried as yet, a heat lamp to see if would be effective and fast enough to remove the ice without over heating the shingles. We fortunately avoided the ice conditions this year.

See if you can find the pellets and give them a try.

Bud
 
  #3  
Old 02-19-10, 06:02 PM
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Thanks Bud, I was unaware that they made such a thing. I'll have to check the Depot and Lowes.

I thought about the CC being corrosive on my aluminum gutters too, just concerned about getting the ice off of there. Lots of productive melting today and tomorrow should be the same. They're talking about 8-10 more on Monday and if conditions are right a possible 24"! Great, I can't get all the cars in my driveway now because of the snow!
 
  #4  
Old 02-19-10, 06:37 PM
B
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A few years back I picked up a backhoe loader for a construction project, it followed me home . Well, I started clearing the snow everywhere. At first, just to make room for more snow, but found I really enjoy not being closed in. Such a pleasure to fit 20 cars in the yard and have room left over. Normal winter used to end with barely getting in and out. Off track .

Pick up a snow rake if you don't have one and keep ahead of the snow so it doesn't melt.

And keep the snow over there, we are enjoying a mild winter here in ME.

Bud
 

Last edited by Bud9051; 02-19-10 at 06:38 PM. Reason: spelling
  #5  
Old 02-19-10, 08:54 PM
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A roof rake for snow is the best investment you can make. Use it perodically and remove snow from the lowere 2-3 feet of the roof so Mother Nature can do her work to keep the gutter open and an open path for the water to get to the gutter. I usually did it every week or two and took about 10-15 minutes.

If you have a particularly bad exposure, layout and roof geometry, you may have to lay a heat tape in the gutter and down the downspout and plug it in when it looks might it might be needed for a half of a day or so.

WE had roof with valleys and rarely used the tape, but we only got 50" of snow per year and it was always sunny for a few days after a snowfall.

Dick
 
  #6  
Old 02-19-10, 09:10 PM
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Some people around here will grind up charcoal and sprinkle it on ice. That way when the sun does come out, it will help melt the ice. You probably wouldn't want to use the Matchlight brand charcoal. LOL!

A buddy of mine does some roof snow removal in the winter and they bought a bunch of electric hammer chisels this year. You can use them to chip a drainage path through the ice (without damaging the shingles) here and there so that if there is melting, the water has an easy path to get away.
 
 

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