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You’ve probably seen “hacks” on how to cut through the snow and ice on your roof, perhaps even prevent ice dams, using rock salt. In today’s post, your best gutter guard provider ABC Seamless Siding discusses the reasons why this is a bad idea, and what you can do instead to protect your roof from ice dam formation.

gutters with icicles ice dams best gutter guard

How Can Rock Salt Damage Your Roof?

While rock salt can melt snow and ice to some degree, it’s not particularly effective, as salt can only melt ice at 20 degrees at the lowest. It will also take several pounds of rock salt to melt a prominent ice dam, making it impractical. Salt can also cause corrosion on metal roofing, gutters, and other metal components on your roof. Once the spring thaw comes in and the salted water drips from the roof, it will cause damage to surrounding plants.

How to Remove Ice Dams

Removing ice dams can be difficult when it’s solidified on the roof edge. Using tools like a hammer, pick, or shovel can cause damage on the gutters and the roof itself. Asphalt shingles, in particular, tend to become brittle during extreme cold, and chipping at the ice using sharp tools can inadvertently result in cracked shingles. It’s better to first remove the snow on the roof using a long-handled aluminum rake, being careful not to stand under the roof edge and risk getting buried by snow. If the roof edge already has icicles—which indicates an already-solidified ice dam—have the ice dam removed by professionals.

Prevention Is Key

The ideal solution is to address the underlying cause of ice dams: insufficient attic insulation. Trapped heat in the attic melts the snow on the rooftop, which refreezes as it flows to the roof edge, resulting in ice dams. Attic insulation and ventilation issues can be addressed by your roofing contractor.

You can also take additional precautions against ice dams by having an ice reduction system like Helmet Heat® installed on your gutters, as part of the Gutter Helmet® gutter protection system. Helmet Heat® features heating coils that, when activated, gently melt ice dams on top of the gutters. Using Gutter Helmet®’s especially-designed cover, the melted ice water flows into the gutters and not onto the ground. Combined with a well-insulated attic, you will never have to worry about ice dams during winter.

ABC Seamless Siding is your leading provider of the best gutter guard on the market, Gutter Guard®. Give us a call at (866) 405-8248. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Anchorage, Alaska, and the surrounding communities.

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