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Salty Solutions to Calcium Chloride Roof Damage

November 21, 2011 by - 0 Comments

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calcium chloride roof damageJust what is calcium chloride roof damage and why did it happen to me? You probably heard an ice dam is bad and are trying to eliminate it before it damages your roof and house interior. You probably were going for the immediate fix. Even if you plan to do the right thing by adding more insulation and ventilation to your attic, that won’t melt the ice that is there now.

Calcium chloride is ice melt, those small white pellets like giant table salt that you throw down to melt ice on your sidewalk. Why do you care about ice on the roof when you’re not walking on it? Behind that ice is water, ponding up and under your shingles and into your house. So the immediate solution is to melt through that ice dam so the water behind it can escape into the gutter rather than into your living area. Salts for ice melting are sodium chloride (rock salt), potassium chloride, calcium chloride, and magnesium chloride.

There is a downside to all of these rapid melting solutions. They can corrode your metal gutters and roof flashing, the runoff could kill your plants, even touching the salts could be a skin irritant. They even can damage concrete if it wasn’t correctly mixed and cured for exterior use subject to freeze thaw cycles and deicers. The best prevention for calcium chloride roof damage is adding insulation and ventilation to your attic, maybe heated drip edge, and only use the salt once!

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