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Why You Shouldn’t Use Salt to Fix Ice Dams

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Salt is a relatively easy method to melt snow and prevent ice buildup, but it is not recommended to use on your roof. In this article, a trusted roof repair contractor explains why salt is not a good way to cure ice dams.

Use Salt to Fix Ice Dams
  • It is usually ineffective. Salt can only melt ice at temperatures down to 20 degrees. This means it will not work if the temperature is on the warmer side at 20 to 32 degrees.
  • It is impractical. Attempting to melt ice dams or a heavy buildup of snow using rock salt is also impractical. The sheer volume of ice and snow that has been sitting on the roof in a while will require too many pounds of rock salt to melt and remove.
  • It rusts nails. While salt may not damage roofing shingles, it can cause the nails securing your shingles to the roof to corrode. As a result, rust can leave unsightly stains and streaks on the surface of your roof. Even worse, say roofing contractors, nails can develop rust and break, thus causing your shingles to become loose and blow off in the wind.
  • It can damage masonry. When melted snow with rock salt drips off the roof and onto the stone or masonry, salt particles can easily seep through the porous surfaces. An accumulation of salt can speed up the freeze-thaw cycle and end up damaging the materials.
  • It can ruin garden plants. When the mixture of salt and water travels down the downspouts, it can reach garden beds and affect the quality of the soil, generally resulting in reduced plant growth.

Let our skilled and experienced roofers address your roofing needs. Neumann Construction uses specialized high-pressure steam equipment to remove ice dams quickly and safely. To request a quote for ice dam removal or roof replacement, call (218) 217-4892, or fill out our convenient contact form. We work with residents of Pequot Lakes, MN, and other nearby communities.