How to Prevent Snow From Sticking to a Skylight


Skylights are attractive architectural features that add to the overall natural light in a room or building. In colder climates this light can be obscured by heavy snowfalls. Aside from preventing the skylights from functioning as intended, layers of snow and ice can pose a real danger instead of merely being a nuisance. The integrity of the clear panes can be compromised, leading to possible injury and costly repairs. Climbing onto the roof in icy weather and possible high winds in order to shovel or otherwise remove the snow can also be hazardous. Preventing the problem is always preferable to trying to remedy the situation after it occurs. As soon as possible after the local weather forecast announces the imminent arrival of inclement weather, you should take measures to prevent snow from sticking to your skylights.

Things You'll Need

  • Ethanol alcohol (isopropyl alcohol will also work)
  • Large spray bottle or bucket (up to a gallon capacity)
  • Funnel
  • Coarse rock salt (optional)
  • Pour up to a gallon of undiluted ethanol alcohol into a spray bottle or bucket. You may use a funnel if using a spray bottle to facilitate filling it.

  • Add a handful of coarse rock salt to the alcohol and either stir or shake to dissolve the salt into the alcohol, if you wish.

  • Pour or spray the alcohol solution evenly over the outside of the skylight and surrounding roof area. Both the alcohol, and the salt if you used it, will chemically prevent the snow from remaining solid when it lands on your skylight. The result will be a skylight that resists being iced over, even in the most brutal of winter weather.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid getting any alcohol or salt into your eyes. Try to pour the mixture slowly and steadily to avoid splashing it carelessly.

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  • Photo Credit water stream and skylight image by jimcox40 from
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