Ice Melting Roof Pucks: Does It Work, Composition & How To Use

When you hear the word “puck”, your mind will probably take you to an ice hockey game.

And while they are both closely related to ice, and ice-melting roof puck is meant to melt ice, and not score goals on a hockey match.

Roof Ice Melt Tablets And Pucks

Speaking of melting ice, some blogs, friends, or family must have recommended ice melt pucks to remove the ice dams on your roof. And if you’re wondering if it’s an ideal fix for roof ice dams, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I’ll be telling you all you need to know about roof melt pucks, as well as their pros and cons.

What Is An Ice Melting Roof Puck?

Ice melt pucks are small bags containing calcium chloride, which can be used to melt ice on your roof.

These bags are small enough to fit into the palm of a grown person, and they can be thrown on the roof to melt ice.

Ice melt pucks are sold in home improvement stores, but many homeowners have developed the habit of making their own. They simply pour some calcium chloride into nylon socks, tie them up, then throw them on the roof.

Specifically across the areas that are hard to reach with a ladder.

How To Use Roof Melt Pucks

Ice melt pucks are very easy to use. It is so easy, that a lot of homeowners have turned to this method as their preferred snowmelt solution.

If you’re using a store-bought puck, then all you have to do is throw it on the roof and allow it defreeze the ice or snow.

But if you were to make them yourself, just dump an adequate amount of calcium chloride into a nylon sock, tie it, then throw them behind the ice dam on your roof.

As the calcium chloride in the bag melts the snow, it will also dissolve and flow down with the liquid, then flow towards the ice dam.

The dissolved calcium flowing with the liquid will then cut through a small portion of the ice dam, creating a passage for melted snow to drain off the roof.

Advantages Of Roof Melt Pucks

Using roof melt pucks isn’t a stand-alone solution for ice dams on your roof. This is because it doesn’t remove the entire ice dam (which is the major problem in the first place)

Notwithstanding, it does have its advantages, which we’ll be taking a look at below.

  1. It allows melted ice to drain away

Even though ice melt pucks do not remove the entire ice dam, it creates an opening in it that allows melted snow to drain away.

Keep in mind that without the opening, melted snow will not be able to flow through, and will refreeze once it makes contact with the ice dam. Hence, forming a much larger ice dam than the one that was originally there.

  1. It is easy to make

Roof melt pucks have proven to be a quick fix for ice dam formation on the roof. This is because it is so easy to make, and all you’ll need are some nylon socks and some calcium chloride.

No special skill is required to make ice melt pucks, anyone can do it.

  1. You don’t need to climb a ladder

One of the biggest risks involved with removing ice dams or snow from your roof is climbing up the ladder.

Why? Because the steps on the ladder will be icy and slippery. Not to mention the roof, which will equally be slippery due to all the ice on it.

The good news is, you don’t have to climb up your roof to place the ice pucks. All you have to do is stand on the ground and throw them up.

You just have to aim so that the pucks can land behind the ice dam. Which in all honesty isn’t a difficult task at all.

Disadvantages Of Roof Melt Pucks

As easy and as convenient as using roof melt pucks are, they also come with their fair share of disadvantages.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why this approach may not be the best for you.

  1. They can discolor your roof

Roof melt pucks are loaded with Calcium chloride, and while this substance is great at melting ice, it can also discolor your roof.

That being said, if you want your roof to maintain an even all-round color, then using ice melt pucks isn’t the best idea.

The worst part is, the dissolved Calcium chloride that flows down to the ground with the melted ice can also discolor your walkways!

  1. It might corrode the metal on your roof

Besides its ability to discolor, calcium chloride is also known to be corrosive to some types of metal. This may not seem like a big deal until you remember that the shingles on your roof are being held in place by nails!

It would interest you to know that most roofing nails are made with galvanized iron, and calcium chloride can corrode them. Of course, this won’t happen instantly, but it surely will over time.

The problem with corroded nails is that they will no longer be able to hold your shingles in place as they become weaker.

  1. Salt pucks can kill plants

If you have a garden near your building, then using salt pucks to melt the ice on your roof may be harmful to them.

Pucks containing salt will melt some ice, and flow down with the melt into your garden soil. If there are plants like evergreen trees in your garden, then the salt will harm them.

Once the evergreen trees absorb the salt-filled moisture in the soil, their cold hardiness will be lost. And this means they will be prone to die from the freezing outdoor temperature.

Conclusion

Ice melt pucks are easy to make and use, and they can spare you the trouble of climbing your roof. But they also come with some disadvantages of their own.

Using the information provided in this article, and considering your unique situation, it’s up to you to decide whether roof melt pucks are good for your ice melt needs or not.

Thanks for reading!

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