How Removing Ice Dams Can Keep You Out of Trouble

How Removing Ice Dams Can Keep You Out of Trouble

When snow falls warmer parts of the roof may melt the snow. Water that trickles down may refreeze on the cold edge of the roof. This refrozen snow becomes an “ice dam” and any additional melted snow backs up underneath the shingles.

Proper insulation and well-ventilated attics reduce the chances of ice dams. One way to prevent ice dams is to fill socks or pantyhose with a melting agent such as calcium chloride and to place them on the roof where ice dams are most likely to occur.

While removing snow from the roof is important to ensure that you use a safe ladder or harness system Think SAFETY!  Make sure that you are not harming yourself or your roof !

A shovel or snow blower could damage or tear up the roof cover system. A roof rake is ideal for removing snow buildup, as long as you do not use it near electrical wiring. Use a heavy duty push broom with stiff bristles to brush snow off of roofs that are more horizontal than vertical.

Steam is ideal to remove ice dams. Roofs could be damaged unintentionally by hammer, picks or other tools and machinery

Treating the symptoms of ice damage does not eliminate the underlying issue of poor insulation and venting in the space beneath the roof. Remember to seal the points where warm air leaks into space beneath the roof.  Insulate the living space well, and vent the space between the insulation and the roof sheathing.

Meanwhile, stay warm!