Clearing Ice from Your Home: Blowtorch Not Recommended

After two house fires in the area, fire officials are asking homeowners to be careful when removing ice from your home

Clearing snow and ice off your house is something that naturally comes with the brutal winter season.

What some people may not realize is that the fire can creep through walls, under doors or any openings and create a much bigger problem than just the ice.

Two houses….one week.

Firefighters have had to put fires at two separate locations after homeowners tried to melt through ice build-up using a blowtorch.

“It’s a very easy ignition source that would light their house on fire,” said Captain Brandon Wehner with the Fargo Fire Department.

The house catching on fire when you’re using the blowtorch can happen in a matter of seconds.

“Especially if you’re working up close to the house,” explained Captain Wehner, “it could go burning unchecked for a while.”

Firefighters say even if you consider yourself an expert, it’s important to know if you’re using an open flame near your home, a house fire can happen to anyone.

“Yeah, probably not the smartest thing,” said Chris Lang with Accelerated Greenworks.

Lang and Eric Lehnmann, who are foremen at Accelerated Greenworks, say there are alternative ways of clearing ice and snow.

“Take a dead blow which is basically a soft hammer and just kind of go slow, little chunks by little chunks,” said Lehnmann.

Lang says people seem to remember to remove ice from their roofs, but they shouldn’t forget other places where ice tends to build up.

“Moreso it’ll stay in the gutters, ” added Lehnmann. “Some gutters have seams in them that could possibly split apart and wreck your gutters.”

They say using a blowtorch to melt away ice is actually burning more of a hole in your pocket.

“The amount of propane a person would have to use to melt the ice would actually burn a lot more propane,” said Captain Wehner. “So it costs a lot more doing that as opposed to buying salt to melt the ice.”

It’s safe to say it might be best to let Mother Nature help out this winter season in using natural sunlight to clear the ice.

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