How To Remove and Prevent Ice Dams

After heavy snow and freezing temperatures the worry moves from warming your home to the threat of ice dams.  Ice dams form at the edge of roofs, near gutters if they are present.  They will prevent snow from melting and then draining off of your roof or through gutters.  The water has to go somewhere, so it backs up into your home including the walls, ceiling, siding and insulation.

Removing Ice Dams

You will want to assist the melting process the best you can.  Remove the snow with a roof rake.  A roof rake enables you to reach high up on your roof and easily slide the snow down.  When using a roof rake make sure you are dressed warmly.  Practice the slide with smaller amount of snow so you are not sliding it right on top of you.

If your roof is too tall for a roof rake or you have some spots you can’t reach, then roof melt pucks are another option for you to try.  These hockey puck sized pieces of ice melt area thrown on top of your roof.  Scatter them across the roof, but if you see ice dams you should consider putting them more centralized.

If the issue is reoccurring, then you may want to consider installing de-icing cables in the spring.  De-icing cables promote the free flow of water through gutters and downspouts to ground level.  They are versatile in design adapts to most roof and gutter configurations.

Preventing Ice Dams

Clean out your gutters in spring and after most leaves fall in autumn.  This will help keep water flowing through the roof and gutters.  Once you are done clearing out the gutters, make sure any downspouts are also free of leaves and twigs.

Consider adding insulation to your attic floors in addition to a vent in your roof.  A well-insulated attic and well-ventilated roof will prevent heat from escaping, which in turn will protect the roof from conditions that cause ice dams.

Make consist checks on downspouts around your home and make sure they are clear.  If there is ice in them or debris stuck, clear that out as well.

If after these attempts you see moisture in your walls, siding, ceiling, etc. visit your neighborhood Ace Hardware store.  It is best to remedy moisture issues before they create more issues in your home.

Always follow manufacturers instructions before using any product.