Roof Concerns Lead to Steady Demand For ‘Roofmelt’

Posted at 7:17 PM, Feb 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-11 19:17:27-05

WEST MICHIGAN (Feb. 11, 2014) —  As people in West Michigan continue digging out from at least 90 inches of snow in some spots this season, there is even more concern than ever for roofs.

You may have seen the commercials for Roofmelt. The calcium chloride tablets are designed to melt the ice on your roof.

“We’ve been going through several pallets a day and continue to be able to stay in stock as much as possible. It’s been a challenge. But we’ve been able to keep it in an in stock position,” Terry Sytsma with Rylee’s Ace Hardware said.

He said the Grand Rapids store is one of few in town that have any of the product in stock at this point. That’s why Rylee’s is limiting two tubs per customer, per visit.

Sytsma said some of big box stores are referring people to Rylee’s.

“We see a lot of people we probably don’t normally see. People are coming from farther distances to get this product. Because we seem to be one of the few that have it,”

Each tablet is produced at KMI in Belding.

Roofmelt inventor Van Kassouni said he came up with the idea for the product when he had some ice on his roof in 2001. He said he threw old clumps of calcium chloride up there, and his roof stopped leaking within 24 hours.

“I needed to melt the snow and I accidentally stumbled on a way of doing it,” Kassouni said.

Twelve winters later, his product continues to increase in popularity, and mother nature hasn’t failed him yet.

“New customers every year are finding us at an astronomical amount,” he said.

“Our sales, we still move because we’re in all of Canada. We’re in all of North America. So it’s always snowing somewhere some winter. But however, this winter, it’s

Snowing almost everywhere all of time and it’s cold. So demand has skyrocketed,”

He said 45 to 65 employees work 24-7, as they try to distribute Roofmelt to the 5,000 retail outlets that carry Roofmelt.

As Sytsma said, big box retailers are having a hard time getting a hold of the product.
But it’s no coincidence Rylee’s Ace Hardware in Grand Rapids has continued to receive a shipment.

“They’re a primary hardware. They’re also the first hardware that carried our product. That’s it. The first,” Kassouni said there’s a loyalty there.

Here’s what you need to know to spot trouble on your roof.

Check to see if it’s sagging.

Are you experiencing a roof leak?

Are you seeing a bend or ripple in supports?

Check for cracks in walls or masonry. Or see if sprinkler heads may have dropped below your ceiling tiles. offers the following tip:

How to calculate your roof snow load

  • Consult your local permit issuing authority to find the recorded snow load (the maximum snow expected to fall) in your region.
  • Calculate your roof pitch: Divide the “rise” (vertical distance between the peak of the roof and the edge) by the “run” (distance from the peak of your roof to the edge) and convert the fraction to a ratio of 12. (For example, if the rise of your roof is 15 feet, the run is 36 feet, then the pitch = 15 feet / 36 feet = 5:12)