Easily Melt Ice From Your Roof
You can easily melt the ice build-up from your roof but ice dams and ice cycles are indicative of a more serious problem that we will discuss. If you have ice damming, you will want to melt this ice buildup and eliminate the ice damming as it could backup water which can penetrate beneath the shingles or other roofing material on your roof and run down the inside of your exterior walls, or worse yet down the surface of your walls, where you can see it.
To cure the immediate problem go to your local garden center and purchase urea fertilizer and sprinkle the fertilizer liberally on all areas of the roof edge that contain ice. Depending of the outside temperature this may take a day or two, but eventually the ice will melt down to the roof, eliminating the ice damming and form some channels for the water to escape.
The great thing about the urea fertilizer is that when it falls to the ground as part of the melting ice and water, it will not harm your landscaping and grass. The same cannot be said for any of the typical salt-based melting materials, as they will kill your plants and grass.
Once you get all the ice off the roof you should shovel or scrape the snow off and have a thermostatically controlled heat tape system installed on all roof edges that are giving you problems. Again this is a band-aid fix and you should get down to solving the real problem, which is adequate attic ventilation. Visit the link to get more information on curing this on existing homes and guidelines to follow on new construction.
Water backup in your walls from ice damming can create not only rotting problems, but worse yet this moisture combined with a food source such as the wood studs and sheathing will create a breeding ground for black mold, which is a very unhealthy condition for adults and especially young children.
You shouldn't have to see a single ice cycle on your roof if it is insulated and ventilated properly.