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Ice Dams

Is Rock Salt Safe For Your Roof? (Safe Alternatives)

February 1, 2023 | 2 min. read

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Winter is full of snow days, sledding, and build-ups of ice on your roof (ice dams). 

Ice dams can have harmful effects on your roof and can ultimately lead to leaks. 

When homeowners recognize the signs of ice dams, their first instinct may be to DIY a removal via salt. After all, if it melts the ice on your sidewalk, it must be suitable for your roof, too, right? 

Rescue My Roof has been serving homeowners for over a decade, and we’ve seen it all – including roofs with corroded shingles due to salt use. 

This article will explain why regular salt should not be used on your roof and give you healthy alternatives. In the end, you could save your roof from expensive repairs. 

Can You Use Sidewalk Salt On Your Roof?

Using sidewalk salt to melt your roof’s ice can cause damage to your roof. 

Sodium Chloride (rock salt) is highly corrosive. Not only will it damage your roof, but the siding, gutters, downspouts, and the poisonous run-off can also harm plants and more. 

Additionally, salt corrodes metal, including the metal nails securing your shingles. Corroded nails can lead to leaks and interior damage if left untreated.

For these reasons, it’s best to use rock salt solely on your sidewalks and find alternate methods of ice dam remediation.

Sodium Chloride vs. Calcium Chloride

Calcium Chloride pellets melting ice dams on a roof.
Calcium Chloride pellets melting ice dams on a roof.

You shouldn’t use rock salt (sodium chloride) on your roof, but another option exists.

If you want to melt ice dams with minimal damage, you can use calcium chloride. 

Calcium chloride is classified as a salt but less corrosive than sodium chloride. It’s used as a drying agent, which makes it widely applicable. It’s used for de-icing planes and preventing the formation of ice. 

You can use calcium chloride pellets to melt ice dams on your roof. Toss them onto your roof and watch the magic happen. 

Melting Ice Dams

Ice dams can be difficult to manage and cause harmful side effects to your home. Gutter and shingle damage, leaks, and more can occur when you leave ice dams untreated.

However, utilizing calcium chloride is an excellent way to melt and prevent ice dams.

Want to learn more about ice dams? Read “What Are Ice Dams? (Causes, Prevention, and Solutions)” and “4 Consequences of Having Too Much Snow on Your Roof.”
Do you need help with ice dams in the greater Milwaukee area? Rescue My Roof offers ice dam remediation utilizing our state-of-the-art steamers to get the job done right. Contact us today to get a free estimate.