Ice Dams on Your Roof

That winter storm has come and gone. But it has definitely left a mark! Many times after a severe snow storm the insulated snow (the snow closest to the roof) begins to melt and move down the slope of the roof. But as soon as it hits freezing air again, it freezes creating an ice dam on your roof. This is dangerous to a roof because it the dam prevents water and moisture from being able to flow from the roof properly. This can lead to moisture leaking inside the ceiling or walls, which of course then could lead to mold and other issues. Many times proof of ice dams is several icicles lining the gutter of your home. Most often this is over an overhang over a porch or entryway. Look out below! It’s a good idea to get rid of those before you cause injury to the mailman or whomever that must come to your front door on a normal basis.

How do I remove ice dams?

  1. Use a roof rake to remove snow from roof. It’s recommended you remove as much snow as possible to get the best results. It is difficult to remove this much snow from the ground so if you are not comfortable on a ladder or standing on a roof, hire a roofing professional or someone who can do it for you.
  2. Hire a pro to use a roof steamer on the ice dam. This is a safe and efficient way to really get through that ice dam and safely remove it without damaging the roof or gutters.
  3. Depending on how thick your ice dam is, you may have some luck with using Roof Melt tablets. This method takes some time to get results and is only most efficient when you only have a thin layer of ice.
  4. Fill socks or pantyhose with ice melt and lay on top of ice. This again, takes several hours to get good results but if you have lots of time…and socks, it could be somewhat of an effective method.

There are other methods that some use, but aren’t necessarily the safest or most effective. The methods above are all at least pretty safe to try. The most effective way would be getting all the snow off the roof as soon as possible with a roof rake and avoid giving the snow a chance to melt.

Ice Dam Removal is Only the Band-aid solution!

To prevent further ice dam situations, eliminate heat within the attic and space below the roof. This is what causes the snow directly atop of the roof to begin melting. Making sure there is proper ventilation inside the attic, which will keep that space cooler and lower the risk or warmer temps causing snow to melt.