4 Reasons Never to Use Salt Pucks To Melt Roof Ice

Experiencing Roof Ice Dam Problems?

When winter temperatures dip down to freezing, ice dams can become a serious problem for homeowners. Salt pucks are supposed to eliminate the need to climb onto your roof, and are designed to melt snow and ice before ice dams can form. But are they doing more harm than good?

Most salt pucks use calcium chloride to melt ice, which can cause numerous issues down the line. Here are four reasons salt pucks are bad for your roof:

1. Discolor Roofing

Salt pucks seem convenient and simple enough to use, but if you like your roof’s color, you may want to steer clear of them. Over time, salt pucks can discolor shingles, and the runoff water can discolor your walkways, too.

 

2. Potentially Corrode Roof Nails

Calcium chloride is corrosive to certain types of metals. Most roofing nails are made of galvanized iron, and over time, the calcium chloride in salt pucks will corrode these nails. Corroded nails may not hold your shingles in place as effectively and can lead to other roof issues in the future.

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3. Kill Landscaping

Salt pucks may melt ice, but the runoff from that melted ice may damage your home’s landscaping. Pucks that are made from salt are harmful to certain plants, such as evergreen trees, and can cause damage in other ways.

There are a few concerns that homeowners need to be aware of:

  • Salt may enter the plant’s cells, which causes some species to lose their cold hardiness. Once they lose this hardiness, they are far more likely to be killed from freezing temperatures and ice.
  • Accumulation of salt in the soil can also injure plants. Once the salt dissolves in water, the chloride ions separate and are absorbed by the roots. These ions are then transported to the leaves where they accumulate to toxic levels.
  • Salt also absorbs much of the water that would normally be used by the plant’s roots. Even when moisture is plentiful, a high amount of salt may absorb large amounts of water and create drought-like conditions in the soil.

 

4. Environmental Impact

When using salt pucks, the ice may disappear, but the salt does not. Instead, it washes away into streams and lakes, or it seeps into the groundwater.

Salty groundwater not only affects the taste of the water, but can also affect aquatic animals and plants. A high influx of chloride and sodium ions affects how freshwater animals and plants regulate fluids in their bodies.

Salt can also lead to soil erosion, and damage nearby vegetation and trees.

Alternative Ice Dam Prevention

At HotEdge, we provide the only UL Accredited Roof Ice Melt system. Call HotEdge today at (800) 411-3296 or fill out our contact form to find out how we can protect your roof from ice dams & roof damage.