What to Do If You Have Ice Dams on Your Roof
The winter season is known for its cold temperatures, snowfall, and ice formation. While these features can help create an enjoyable sight, the reality is not always as pleasant. Snow and ice can make for uncomfortable and unsafe situations and may even result in property damage.
One issue you may come across as a result of winter weather is ice dams.
Ice dams form on your roof and in your gutters due to melting snow and the varying temperatures of the roof. When the higher parts of the roof are above freezing but the lower parts are below freezing, any snow that has accumulated on your roof will start to melt and run down its slope only to become refrozen as it moves toward the edge and gutters. The melted snow re-freezes and solidifies before getting a chance to run off the roof entirely.
This ice accumulation can create a dam in your home’s gutters, preventing it from fulfilling its function of draining water away from your property.
Sometimes, the difference in temperatures is a result of the sun and outside temperatures. However, the variation can also be a result of improper attic insulation.
If there are ice dams in your gutters, water will not be able to properly drain and spill over the edge. This water then remains near your property instead of being directed away from it. This can lead to various kinds of damage. The weight of the ice can even misalign or harm your gutters. So, in the event you find ice dams on your roof, act quickly before any damage occurs.
Continue reading to learn more about ice dams and how to respond to them.
Things to Avoid During Ice Dam Removal
Before you get started on working toward ice dam removal, it is important to know what actions and products to avoid using. This will ensure your property is not harmed any further during ice dam removal efforts.
While certain chemicals can help quicken the ice melting process, they can also be harmful for your roof. Because of this, it is recommended that you avoid using chemicals to conduct ice dam removal on your roof. You do not want to use such products only to find out they have resulted in different damage to your property.
Manual Ice Removal
As opposed to melting the ice, you may feel tempted to manually remove the ice from your roof. A shovel, pick, or similar tool would work well in breaking up the ice and dislodging it. However, this could just as easily ruin the shingles on your roof, creating cracks and breaks.
This is especially concerning not only because of the damage, but because this damage then creates an avenue for water to enter your home. Melted snow and ice can seep through the cracks and leak into your home, leading to water damage. So, unless you or a roofing professional intends to replace and/or repair the roof, avoid manual ice removal.
How to Remove Ice Dams
Apply Hot Water
An easy way to remove ice dams is to melt them down with hot water. Just run some hot water over the ice, and it will slowly melt and drain out through the gutters. This will then free up the gutter to allow water to run through and properly drain away from your home.
Add a Heat Cable to the Roof
Installing heat cables on your roof can provide heat needed to melt any existing ice dams. You can either install them on a temporary basis or on a permanent basis to prevent future ice dam issues. If you add them outside of the winter season, they can either prevent ice dams from forming or immediately address them when snowfall does return.
Get Professional Help
If you have ice dams on your roof, then reaching out to a roofing professional for help is a good idea. Whether you are incapable of addressing the situation yourself, feel more comfortable letting professionals handle it, or something else, a roofing professional can help with ice dam removal. They already possess the knowledge and equipment needed to handle ice dams properly.
Professional Water Damage Restoration Services
If your home experiences water damage as a result of ice dams, then do not hesitate to address the harm right away. Water damage will only get worse the longer it remains untreated, so prompt action will limit the amount of harm done, cut down on repair and restoration costs, and prevent mold growth.
ServiceMaster Fire and Water Restoration provides professional water damage restoration services to residential and commercial properties in the Denver, CO, metro area and the neighboring communities of Elbert County. Our water damage restoration services are available to you on a 24/7 basis. This guarantees that you have essential help no matter when the emergency occurs.
With help from our water restoration professionals, your property will be restored to the state it was in before ice dams caused any harm.