When ice dams occur, water backs up behind them. As it backs up, it can work its way through cracks and under shingles. You can see it running out of soffets or through ceilings and /or walls. Additionally, it flows over the dam, forming icicles. Water can drip onto sidewalk areas and refreeze when it hits the cold surface. Ice dams do their damage when there is running water (melted snow) on the roof. This same running water is needed to activate the deicer to form a brine and work through the ice dam.
How Ice Melters Work
When ice melters dissolve in the running water, they lower the freezing point of the water. Every ice melter acts differently. The key is to use the correct material to match the intended performance. Roof ice melters must be non-damaging to the roofing system and the vegetation below (where it runs off). It should not stain the roof and must be easy to put in place.
When to use: Before ice dams form (early winter) or after they have already formed.
Where and how to place: The two-pound sleeves of ice melt can be placed above and near where ice dam forms. They can be thrown onto the roof from the ground or placed by hand. The sleeve can lay in any direction.
How much to use: Place a blaster in valleys where there is a lot of water flow (and large ice dams can build) or along the roof approximately every 20 feet.
How fast does it work: Will work quickly initially with water flow, then time release action will allow it to work slower and last longer.
How safe is it: It is extremely safe and non-corrosive. It biodegrades at temperatures above 50 F.
Sodium Acetate – Solid Roof Ice Melter (fast release)
When to use: Use on large roofs or large ice dams and when quicker reaction is desired.
Where and how to place: Pour two to three pounds in a pile behind or above the ice dam.
How much to use: each pound of material will dissolve approximately two pounds (one quart) of water at -8 F, or ten pounds (five quarts) of water at 23 degrees F. (This shows that this de-icer is most effective as the temperatures get warmer. It gives an idea of how much to use depending on the amount of ice and the temperature)
How fast does it work: It works faster than the Ice Dam Blaster, but doesn’t last as long.
How safe is it: It is extremely safe and non-corrosive. It biodegrades in warm weather.
Package size: 6 lbs bags (shipped individually or 8 per case) – convenient and safe size for roofers to just throw in there pocket when they are doing their job. Also available in 25 lb pails, and 55 lb bags.
Where and how to place: Pour concentrate above ice dam.
How much to use: A half-gallon will lower the freezing point of 3 quarts of water to 0 degrees F, 8 quarts of water to 22 deg F, and 4 gallons of water to 30 F.
How fast does it work: Immediately goes to work.
How safe is it: Do not use on galvanized steel. It is safe on other materials, and it biodegrades at warm temperatures.
Package size: 1 gal bottles (6 per case), 2.5 gallon bottles (2 per case), 55 gallon drums, and 275 gallon mini tote tanks.
All of these are the safest available roof ice melting products on the market, for general consumers, commercial locations, and at special dealer pricing
for companies in the roofing industry.