Whether or not you’re a fan of the new hit movie La La Land, it does a fantastic job at describing life on the golden coast by opening with the song “Another Day of Sun”. It also titles all of the four seasons, every one of which is opened with a bright sunny day. With that in mind, most Californian’s who live on or near the coast may have never heard of an “ice dam” or have dealt with icy roofs. It’s true; California’s favorite part of winter is watching it on the news right before we take a stroll on a chilly night that’s reached sixty degrees. Nonetheless, while ice is such a rare problem here in the golden state, it does happen occasionally. So, without further adieu, here are a few ideas on how to de-ice your roof.

Don’t Use Hot Water

Alex Pitt, the director of snow clearing equipment for Tracmaster Landscape Machinery Specialists, has strongly advised to “resist the temptation to pour hot water over ice to melt it. This is a short-term solution, as once it cools it will freeze over the existing ice making the problem worse”. Another problem with just using hot water is the quantity it’s going to take to really penetrate the ice. The water will fall down your roof too quick to make a lasting difference and add to the possibility of more freezing water. We also recommend that you do not pour boiling water on your rooftop. Some people may do it on their driveways, but your roof likely wasn’t made of concrete and water at that temperature could possibly damage and discolor the shingles.

Do It Yourself Deicer

The chances that you will find deicing products at your nearest Raley’s or Wal Mart are almost slim to none up here in the Bay Area, but no need to fear. We wouldn’t recommend using some of the liquid products anyways due to possibility of discoloration from the chemicals, and throwing salt or other minerals up there will just end up as something you’ll have to clean up a little later on, so we’ve found a way that you can penetrate the ice with these common household goods:

  • Half A Gallon of Warm Water
  • Six drops of dish soap
  • Two ounces of rubbing alcohol

All you need to do is mix these together, shaken or stirred, and then go ahead and spray it or pour it wherever the ice may be on your roof. This solution will stay much longer and do a much more effective job on melting the ice than hot water along with avoiding the chemicals and toxins from your normal store deicers. It’s also another way to save a few bucks…economic power to the DIY people!

This should do just the trick, but please let us know if ice is causing any real damage like creating cracks or holes in the roof. Also be aware that if you already have shingles that are starting to crack and one of the rare but possible freezing nights is coming in.