Quick Fixes for Ice Dams on your Roof

Posted by Sam Pouliot on Mar 3, 2015 12:30:00 PM

With the cold weather hanging around, there are some serious issues that every homeowner needs to look out for. Today, we will focus on the issues surrounding water damages in your homes as the weather remains cold and your heat stays on.   icedam

Ice dams can occur throughout the winter season and even into spring. An issue often overlooked by homeowners, ice dams can cause a lot of damage to your home that will continue to happen until you address the problem. So, we want to give you steps to prevent these problems and the signs you should be looking out for.

Ice Dams:

Ice dams form when snow, warmed by the heat of the roof, melts and runs off towards the edge of the roof or gutter. Once the water hits the edge of the roof and is no longer heated, it will refreeze and form a dam. This will not allow water to properly drain and causes it to flow under the shingles and into your home. Here are some tips from Home Partners about quick-fixes for ice dams on your roof and how to prevent them in the first place.

Quick Fixes:

  • Use a snow rake to keep your roof as clear as possible and prevent melting snow from building up.
  • Remove the ice dam with a small blunt object. (Be careful! It is very easy to damage your shingles, your gutters, or both. Be patient and gentle. Hire a professional to be safe.)
  • Clear your gutters and downspouts. Give the water somewhere to go, because if you don't then you will most likely damage your home.
  • You could also melt through the ice dam using calcium chloride. By putting calcium chloride in some type of sleeve (an old stocking works great) and resting it on top of the ice dam, a channel will eventually form for the water to run through. Keep in mind, for this to be effective you must make sure your downspout is also clear. - WARNING: DO NOT use rock salt. Rock salt will just cause further damage to your roof and gutters.

Prevention:  If you really want to stop the issues surrounding ice dams, then here are steps you can take to put an end to the problem.

  1. Seal all points where warm air leaks from the living space into the spaces immediately below the roof sheathing.
  2. Insulate the living space well enough to prevent conduction and convection of heat through the ceiling.
  3. Vent the space between the insulation and the roof sheathing, so any heat that does leak through is carried away. (Thank you Home Partners for the list)



Topics: winter safety, ice dams, home insurance

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