Removing Ice on Roofs

by Nate on June 17, 2011

ice — about 30 cm (1 ft.) — all the way from the gutter up the roof. Keep your ladder off to the side, so it won’t be hit by ice coming off the roof.

Hot water jets from regular garden hoses proved very effective on metal sheds and glass sunrooms when directed from dormer windows above. Do not walk on metal or glass roofs. Cut the ice into sections with the jet, then flood the glass to unhook and slide the ice off. Windows below may need protection from rebounding ice.


In the research conducted in 1998, no suitable contractors were found to be using steam.

Subsequently, CMHC has heard from contractors who have had success with this method. If you can find an experienced contractor, this method may work for you.

Experiments that did not work

Solar Collectors

Both clear and black polyethylene and solar swimming pool covers were tested for melting ice.Wind problems (how do you keep the cover in place?), lack of evaporation, as well as snow cover rendered them all just about useless.

Liquid De-icers

Although they did work to liberate the ice blocks cut by chain saws off flat roofs, they were not effective in cutting drainage paths on the edge of sloped roofs.


John Carle RE/MAX Real Estate Edmonton 102 12650 151 Ave Edmonton, AB T5X 0A1 780-937-7534 / 780-701-9090

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