Tips For Clearing Snow Off Your Roof

BOSTON (CBS) – With a storm on the way Saturday in a seemingly never-ending winter, Bay State residents are being urged to clear snow off their roof.

Tom Silva from “This Old House” on PBS offered some tips for clearing your roof before the next storms roll in.

icedamroof Tips For Clearing Snow Off Your Roof

Ice dams form when snow melts and then refreezes, trapping standing water on roofs.

Silva said residents who own homes with sloped roofs should still be concerned, though flat roofs are more susceptible to collapse.

One big worry is if your roof has ice dams. Ice dams are formed when a heat leaks through insulation, melting snow in a particular spot. That melted snow then seeps down the pitched roof and re-freezes. Then, water starts to build up and over time, it can leak into the roof of your home.

Silva spoke with WBZ-TV’s Jonathan Elias about how to properly remove ice dams.

Silva said raking your roof could create an ice dam.

Silva offered tips to avoid creating ice dams, speaking with WBZ-TV’s Jonathan Elias.

Holly from Pepperell asks, “Is it okay to use some rock salt on the edge of the roof to deal with ice dams?”

Silva gave his answer and discussed the danger of icicles with WBZ-TV’s Jonathan Elias.

  • Kate Conran

    Thanks, Tommy! I was dreading the thought of going up on a laddar and chipping away, so now I tried launching some paper bags of snow melt up there. Hoping it will help – right now I’ve got WATER dripping INSIDE the window in my bedroom..

  • Rosie

    Is it ok to break the icicles that are hanging down just about everywhere
    around my house?? They block the doors at times so that I can’t get out fo them.

  • Faith Gagne

    How do I save this page to my computer? Thanks.

  • Carol Sheehan

    Thanks Tom. For once I know more than my husband. Now to just go and find some panty hose….

  • Linda Hardy

    What do I do when there are icicles that running down my siding? What do I have to do for those?

  • Tweets that mention Tips For Clearing Snow Off Your Roof « CBS Boston --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by WBZ Boston News, Patrick Cook, sundae, Dan Roche, Andrea WBZ and others. Andrea WBZ said: RT @wbz: Worried about ice dams on your roof? Tom Silva from "This Old House" offers some key tips: […]

  • Jeffrey

    If your House is well insulated and has NO Ice Dams and no Icicles would it be ok with just half the roof rake off, as I can’t get close enough because of Snow banks and Shrubs to rake the whole thing off… i’m out in western Mass

    • Philip Sullivan

      What is the material that Tom Silva put into the bag to put on the roof to melt the snow and ice? Was it Calcium Chloride Pellets or Pucks?

  • pdn

    We’re trying the calcium chloride right now. My husband is mixing it into snowballs and throwing them up on the roof!

  • robin

    great/helpful news story – sent to several friends, even out of state! Thanks

  • Peg Bonnevier

    Why did we see on a State Farm Insurance site NOT to use Calcium Chloride on the roof? Said it would corrode flashing under the shingles? HELP!

  • Vickie

    How do I find someone reliable to clear the snow off my roof?

    • kim

      I asked the guy who plows my driveway and he set me up with this other guy that came with ladders and got all the snow off my roof. Granted, he was not insured and “climbs at his own risk” but you can call your homeowners insurance carrier and put add a rider for the one or two days for a small fee.

  • Charlie Russell

    Is Sodium chloride equal to Potassium chloride ?

  • tom

    Where do you buy chloride pucks?

  • Bea

    I put a cup of cloride chips in a paper towel, taped the ends closed and tossed them on the roof. They slid down behind the ice dams and started melting them right away. It works well and will not hurt your roof.

  • Mike

    The information is great and very useful but where to get the supplies to relieve the ice dams.

    Thanks for the tips. keep them coming.


  • Paul

    Of all the roofs known to have “collapsed” in the past few weeks, how many have been single family houses with slanted roofs, and how many have been buildings with flat roofs? Thank you.

    By the way … I do not think elderly folks should be clearing roofs on their own homes, and any homes with 2 floors are beyond the reach of roof rakes. I have heard costs of $500-$800 (and more) to get people to clear roofs, but I’m not sure it’s wise to subject roofs to untrained people because of the potential for damage. How many people can really afford to pay that much $$$ these days … and how many times each winter would they need to do it?

    It would be great if there was an IN-DEPTH report on this entire matter on the tube, including the extremely high costs and the likelihood that there are people taking advantage of the situation with their high prices.

  • Bob from NB

    Now I am very confused. If I cannot clear the entire roof, am I better off NOT roof raking as far up as I can get, and do no raking at all? I also heard “no chemicals at all on roof, especially salt”. Tom say’s OK. I had a guy get all my ice dams off the roof. He used a hammer. Tom say’s no. Please, can someone clarify everything? I can’t get on the roof myself. Do I need to hire a crew each time it snows to remove it? Please offer advice, if you can. Thank you.

  • Historic Winter « wessagusset

    […] watched WBZ last night interview Tom Silva from “This Old House”. He offered great advice. Ice dams are a major problem, and a very misunderstood problem, and a […]

  • arce - Pepperell ma

    Should we clean the snow on the decks or they’re more strong than roofs.

    • Julie Eich

      Tom Silva did say yesterday (off-camera, but I was there) that you should absolutely be clearing your flat decks. They are just as susceptible.

  • fred garside

    I don’t see any tips !!!!

  • jay

    This is awful. where are the tips!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cheryl

    He said to uise calcium chloride on the roofs to melt ice dams. Can be purchased at Home Depot. Put it in an old nylon and throw it up on the roof.

    • gina

      can’t the calcium chloride hurt the nail and roof itself?

      • Peg Bonnevier

        That is what we saw on State Farm Ins site. Said not to use calcium chloride for it can corrode the flashing under the shingles.

      • hi Jimmy

        as opposed to water damaging the wood, causing rot, splitting, mold?

  • Annmarie

    thank you for the tip
    i was going to buy Cakcium Chioride but if it going to hurt the the flashing then forget that.
    i would like to keep my roof in once peace
    thanks you
    have nice weekend

  • Lili Clark

    And what are you suppose to do with you live in a triple decker..where the roofs are flat????????????

  • Curious About Rock Salt & Roofs « CBS Boston

    […] Go here to find out what else he advises. […]

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