Who came up with ice melt on roof?

Here is New England we’re having an especially stormy/snowy winter. We’re experiencing previously unheard of levels (to me, anyhow) of roof ice dams, water getting in homes, and roofs collapsing.

People have started putting “ice melt” in socks, pantyhose, whatever and throwing it up on their roof, so that it lies from the roof across the gutter.

This works perfectly! It slowly, and steadily, melts a channel through ice dams allowing snow melt to just run off the house rather than back up under shingles and into the house.

It seems incredible to me that no one has thought of this before. Or have they?

Exactly who came up with this idea?

Or has this idea been around for a while?

salt is corrosive to building materials and unhealthy to living things. so what it contacts on your building or plants might be damaged or killed.

physical removal is faster.

using a snow rake with extensions can clear single story and lower roofs.

I have read about that for a couple of years, but I don’t know who came up with it. I don’t think you use road salt, rather you use the stuff that isn’t supposed to harm animals and plants, which is a little better.

It seems obvious to me. When hearing on the news recently about roof collapses, my first thought was “why don’t they put some ice melt stuff up there?”

FWIW, most of the roof collapses happen with flat roofs, where ice melt doesn’t help.

Peaked roofs don’t collapse, but they do let water get in if there are ice dams. I use a rake, since it takes the snow off immediately and can cover more area than ice melt.