Ice Melt Socks

How to Remove Roof Ice Dams using Ice Melt Socks

By Mark J. Donovan

Ice melts socks are an easy, safe and inexpensive way to remove ice dams from roofs. Ice dams if left unchecked can damage walls, ceilings, window sills and carpet. Chipping them away with a hammer, axe or chisel can damage you shingles, and as a result, should never be done.

Ice melt socks, as their name suggests are socks that are filled with ice melt. The typical ice melt sock is made from nylon, is around 18 inches in length, and can hold up to several pounds of ice melt.

You can buy empty ice melt socks at hardware and home improvement centers. You can also easily make your own if you have some old nylon socks or stockings lying around the home.

Simply poor 3 to 4 pounds of non-staining and non-corrosive ice melt into each sock and tie off the end of it.

Place an ice melt sock every 5 to 10 feet along the length of the roof. They should be placed perpendicularly over the ice dam, and run up the roof line approximately 12 to 18 inches. If you have gutters, have them extend outwards over the gutters. Over time the ice dam melting socks will melt grooves into the ice dams so that snow melt water can drain from the roof.

An ice melt sock will usually last an entire winter season, however you can easily refill them if necessary.

Ice melt socks can be seen at the edge of the upper roof in this picture.

For more help on Shingling Your Home’s Roof, see’s Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet. The Asphalt Shingle Roofing Bid Sheet will help to ensure that your roof won’t end up with a blue tarp over it and a dumpster sitting in your yard for weeks as you wait for the roofing contractor to come back and finish roofing your home.

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