How to Remove Ice Dams from Roof

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ice daming

How to Remove and Prevent Ice Dams from Your Roof

Icicles hanging along the eaves and gutters of a house look beautiful, but can mean serious trouble- both inside and outside. These icicles can indicate that a roof has existing problems with ice dams, and needs attention before water starts coming into the house. 

Ice dams generally form at the gutters and eaves of the roof, and prevent melting ice and snow from leaving the roof. Insufficient attic insulation causes heat rising from your home to heat the roof surface. The snow on the heated roof surface melts faster than that of the rest of the roof. When the melted snow and ice meet the still frozen sections at the roof line, ice dams form. The weight of ice dams can cause gutters, and soffits to completely collapse, while also damaging shingles. Expanding ice dams can push water up the roof slope causing interior leaks and costly damage. 

ice daming

Things to do right now if you have ice damming:

  • Don’t chisel at your roof with a hammer or shovel, it may damage your roof system
  • Don’t use rock salt on your roof as it is highly corrosive and will damage shingles
  • Pull snow off of the roof with a long rake while standing a safe distance away
  • Check attic area frequently for leaks

Preventing future winter damage:

One of our roofing specialists can help in assessing what items you may need to keep your home safe through severe winter weather. 

  • Proper roof and attic insulation are crucial in both extreme cold and heat. More insulation on the attic floor keeps the heat out of the attic.
  • Ridge vent paired with soffit vents keep cold air circulating under the entire roof. They should provide at least 1 square foot of opening for every 300 square feet of attic floor. 
  • Ensure that chimneys are properly flashed with metal. Using spray foam isn’t fire safe.
  • Adding heater cords to gutters can help prevent freezing at the gutter line.

It is important to get your roof evaluated before winter to prevent any ice damming issues before they happen, but it’s better to do it late than never! We have a team at AMDG working all winter to ensure your home stays safe, both inside and outside. Give us a call or head to our website to schedule an evaluation.

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