Ice Removal Guide

Ice Removal Guide

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Ready for Ice and Snow?

As we begin another potentially harsh winter, the time to understand how you can protect your home and property from the damage and danger of ice is NOW!

At Viewpoint Inspection, we want to help you steer clear of the hazards of winter. Our ice removal guide below can help you prepare in advance and avoid fighting store crowds to purchase ice removal supplies when the first storm is in the forecast.

Your Roof & Ice Dams – The Three W’s

What is an Ice Dam?

An “ice dam” is a ridge made of ice and snow on your roof. It forms when snow and ice melt, refreeze collect and, if the dam is large enough, can cause water to back up under the shingles and create a leak.

Where Do Ice Dams Form?

  • Develop on your roof after heavy snowfall when daytime temperatures are at, or slightly above, freezing, and night time temperatures are below freezing.
  • Form over unheated areas, such as eaves, porches, and attached garages, as well as above party walls and below skylights.
  • Commonly found on roofs with low slopes or roofs that change from a steep slope down to a low slope.

Ways to Prevent Ice Dams

The best way to prevent an ice dam is to keep the attic, and therefore the roof surface, cold enough to prevent snow from melting. There are three major preventative measures to consider:

  1. Add attic insulation
  2. Seal air leaks in the attic (i.e. attic access hatches and ceiling light fixtures)
  3. Improve attic ventilation

To Salt, or Not to Salt?

Ensuring your driveway and walkway are clear of ice and snow is imperative not only for your safety, but for the safety of others. Here are four natural de-icing methods you can use:

Salt:

  • The most common treatment used to eliminate ice
  • Cheap, effective, and easy to obtain
  • Corrosive, so it can damage human skin, pets’ paws, and its runoff can affect nearby plants and vegetation. It can also damage concrete and masonry

Urea

  • The second most common de-icer
  • A liquid, making it easy to apply to pathways, and more convenient to clean up, but can cause more damage to surrounding plants
  • Less convenient to purchase

Alfalfa Meal

  • A natural fertilizer, like urea, but it contains less nitrogen so it’s a bit less damaging
  • Provides traction for walking and driving due to its dry and grainy nature
  • Difficult to purchase

Sugar Beet Juice

  • Increasing in popularity as a method for de-icing
  • Lowers the freezing point of water and helps with de-icing
  • Colorless, odorless, and harmless
  • More expensive than its salty counterpart, and less convenient to purchase

As a professional inspection company, Viewpoint Inspection wants our friends to enjoy a safe, ice-free winter. From buyer and seller inspections to termite inspections and radon measurements, Viewpoint Inspection can assist you in all areas of property ownership.