By Bronson Rumsey, Sales & Marketing, HotEdge

A common misconception or misunderstanding when it comes to ice dam mitigation efforts is the belief that 100% of ice dam problems are caused by heat loss. This results in large investments to insulate attic spaces and build “cold roofs.” Although these investments can help with roof ice problems, they cannot combat snow melt that occurs from ambient temperature changes (when outside temperatures rise above freezing and from direct sun, roof vents, etc.). After all, any time you have melting throughout the day in a freeze-thaw environment, once the sun sets or an afternoon storm arrives, all the snow melt water on the roof freezes before it reaches the ground—and roof ice problems grow. All ambient temperature forces act independently of any and all investments made to reduce or eliminate heat loss from any structure.

A temporary fix, often done as a low-budget, knee-jerk attempt to remove ice dams, is to hire services that manually remove ice off the roof surface. This is very problematic, as manual methods of ice removal are dependent on shovels and picks, which cause significant damage to the roof most of the time. Often this damage is not realized until it is too late, and leaks have already begun. Roofs then have to be replaced much sooner than the advertised life of the roofing material.

For an alternative method of removing snow/ice from a roof,