Ice Dams

Best methods for removing ice dams? Many products out there, just curious if spray de-icers safe for shingles work? Anyone else use this method??

I’ve seen de-icers, salt and any number of things used to remove ice. The trouble is they mostly will damage the shingle and void the warranty. Frankly, the best solution is to build a cold roof and you won’t have the ice problem. Anything you can do to eliminate the warming of the underside of the shingle is good. Except for weight, snow and ice don’t usually harm the shingle. When it turns to ice and starts sliding off the roof it is like an ice berg…look out below.

If you are careful, an axe works really well to remove most of the ice and therefore most of the pooling water.

Then remove the snow from the roof to prevent further melting.

Calcuim Cloride melts ice fast and very safely. Does not void shingle warranty like salt does. Last time i bought it i paid around 11 dollars for a small bag but it goes along way.

try some heat well up in maine

If your faced with ice dams,
regardless of attic issues,
I would suggest an ice belt,
30x30 inch galv aluminum eave edging
continous…or electric ice cable.

Calcium Chloride, Potassium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride all work better than Sodium Chloride, (Salt), and they are also available in a flake, and in bulk quantity, which can be mixed with water to create your own spray on solution.

For a pre-made liquid, try Ice Ban.


Calcium Chloride, sledge hammers and axes.
No problem. (does get a bit messy though)

An pneumatic chisel.

Ax,hammer or any metal tool. oh yeah and nerves of steel.

I am hoping that you guys are joking around.

Doing any invasive demolition with tools like that would potentially bring you all sorts of liability from the cracked shingles that might result from those actions.

You need to be passive, regarding the Ice Dam removal.

Another good trick, is to get a hold of a lady’s nylon stocking and fill them with one of the ice melting compounds mentioned previously and position them perpendicular to the eave edge and spaced about every 2-4 feet apart, right on top of the ice dam.

This will result in melting continuous channels through the blockage, which will alleviate the potential water back-up starting to occur under the shingles, creating interior leaks in the home.


thebaycompany - Could you explain more on the ice belt thing? Where/how/what shape. 30" on roof, 30" over gutter? I don’t quite understand what you mean.

He is probably referring to a metal roof, which is only at the gutter eave edges in snow belt regions.

I used to see a lot of those on roofs when I vacationed in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

But their average snowfall is around 90-100 inches per year.


Ed, with respect, when the water is running down the inside walls of the ladies house because the ice is melting, and the insurance company have acknowledged the need for action, and the shingles have to be removed to install I+W shield anyway there is nothing passive about solving the issue. Not back when I was on the tools anyway.

Since you said that you would now be removing the shingles affected, that changes things.

It is important to ensure that everyone is on the same page though, because if you are just hired to alleviate the ice dam and now cause more damage including additional shingle repairs, you could get burned.

A friend of mine had to replace a ladies roof just because of that issue, out of his pocket.


It should not have been out of his pocket. It is an emergency service, of course the roof will need work in better weather for a permanent fix.