Columbus Roofing: Article About Roof Damage
During the winter months of the year, Ohio homeowners deal with plenty of frozen precipitation. From sleet and slush to ice storms and heavy snowfall, the central part of the state gets more than its fair share of wintry weather. When a strong winter storm comes through, many property owners use ice melt solutions to get rid of the slippery patches on their sidewalks and driveways. Unfortunately, what helps on the pavement may cause cosmetic or even structural problems for the rooftop. With help from a local Columbus roofing expert, every homeowner can learn about the types of salt damage that can happen on a roof.
Rock salt leaves a residue on the surface pavement and other surfaces when it is used. As the salt dissolves and is spread out by the melting water, it can leave whitish or gray stains over a wide area of a roof. This white residue can be unsightly, especially on dark shingles. In some cases, rust colored stains can develop, especially along the roof's edges where the most salt accumulates.
Also on the roof's surface, rock salt may damage the flashing. Located in the roof's valleys and along the edges of the eaves, the flashing helps to protect leak prone areas of the roofing system. The salt can cause rust or corrosion to develop on the flashing and on the roofing nails holding the flashing in place.
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As the snow continues to melt, some of the molecules can get flushed into the gutters. The salt then starts a chemical reaction with the metal in aluminum, copper or galvanized steel gutters and downspouts. When the salt remains on the metal of gutters, it can cause significant corrosion. Over a period of weeks or months, the salt could eat a hole through the gutter surface, resulting in a leak. If the gutters are not able to do their job properly, water will pool in the home's foundation.
Instead of using rock salt, which could damage the sensitive structures of a roof, homeowners could consider some other options that also effectively melt ice. Calcium chloride is safer than rock salt and will cause less harm to plants and grass located near areas where the salt is applied. Some liquid deicing solutions are also available. These can be sprayed right onto the concrete or asphalt driveway and walking paths and are less likely to be splashed onto the roof. Homeowners trying to use salt to melt an ice dam can get the salts into the desired spot by loading them into a nylon stocking and placing the stocking onto the gutter.