Extreme ice build up isn’t very common here in Portland, Oregon, but it does happen and it can damage your roof.  So, what’s the safest way to remove ice from your roof?

First of all, the best solution for this problem is prevention.  You can prevent ice build up by keeping up your basic maintenance:

– Keep your gutters and roof clean so water does not build up on your roof.

– Trim your trees back to prevent leaves clogging your gutters, branches creating water dams on your roof, and extra water dripping onto your roof.

Get any damaged shingles removed and replaced.

– Don’t allow dimples or dents in your roof – these are not only unsafe, but they create a place where water can collect to freeze.

– Make sure anything sticking out of your roof (chimneys, pipes, skylights, etc) have proper flashing installed so that water is conducted off your roof.

– Ensure your gutters are installed properly and aren’t lose or have any hindrances in conveying water.

Second, if you commonly get ice-build up on your roof, here are some dos and don’ts:

Do be very careful going onto your roof.  Use rubber soled shoes, gloves, etc.  If you feel uncomfortable at all about going onto your roof, hire someone to remove the ice for you.

Don’t use a pick or the claw of a hammer to remove ice.  You could start picking holes in your own roof.

Do try hot water to melt off any minor ice spots.

Don’t use a shovel to remove snow from your roof.

Do use a large broom to brush off snow.

Do consider hiring a professional to do this job for you.  It’s hard and dangerous work.

Here’s to a safe wintertime!

Tom Leach Roofing