Ice Dams: Prevention and Removal

January 26, 2017

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How to Prevent Ice Dams

To prevent an ice dam, keep your roof cold. Ice dams form when snow melts, runs down your roof and refreezes near the edge. This occurs when part of your roof warms to above 32 degrees F, warm enough to melt the snow, while the roof edge remains below freezing. In most cases, this is caused by heat loss from the home into the attic and they are typically formed after a large snowfall. To prevent heat loss, make sure your attic bypass is properly insulated, you have adequate insulation and you have proper ventilation.

Sometimes a cold roof may not be enough to prevent all ice dams. A year with heavy snowfall can cause problems as well as roof valleys that accumulate windblown snow. In these situations, you may want to use a roof rake to take off excessive snow being careful not to damage the shingles.

What to do if you get an Ice Dam

The major problem with ice dams is the water that can leak into the interior of the home and cause damage. Excess snow in the area of concern should be removed immediately. If you have leakage and are unable to get the snow off of the roof your best option to get rid of the ice dam would be to hire a roofing contractor to steam it off. In this fashion, the ice dam is removed with hot water without damaging the roofing. A homeowner risks damaging their roof if they try to use a hatchet or an ice pick for removal. It can also be dangerous being on a ladder in the winter.

If you are experiencing interior water damage, give us a call at 763.434.1418 or visit our website.