Removing Ice Dams and Protecting Your Home

Removing Ice Dams and Protecting Your HomeIcicles and snow may make your home look picturesque, but looks are deceiving and they spell trouble. They can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to backup into your home. The following blog explains the dangers and prevention you can take against ice dams.

What is an Ice Dam?

Ice dams form when water from melting snow freezes into ice at the edge of the roofline or eaves of your home. Most ice dams develop on the edge of your roof, but they can also form on other parts of the roof depending on the slope and style. The ice dam will act as a blockage from melting snow properly draining off the roof

The Issue with Ice Dams

As the heat from your home rises into the attic, it will cause the snow from the roof to melt. This creates a pool of water that will end up being trapped since there is no opening for the runoff. If an ice dam is frozen and blocking the edge of your roof, the water can back up underneath the roof shingles and make its way into your home. The trapped water will continuously melt and then refreeze, which can end up inside your home. This is basically a welcome to rot, damaged roofs, mold, and mildew. It is important to not get to this stage. For more information on how ice dams are formed, read our thorough article Ice Dams: Prevention, Identification, and Removal.

Removing Snow and Ice Dams

If you want to play it safe and be a step ahead, you can start with snow removal from the roof. Anytime you have at least a foot of snow on the roof, consider removing it or having someone do it for you as it can be dangerous. A simple snow roof rake or a snow shovel will do the trick.

By following these steps, removing ice dams from your roof immediately can be critical to helping prevent damage to your home.

Step 1: Assess the situation. If you have multiple or out of control ice dams, you may want to hire a contractor to do the job.

Step 2: If it is something you can do, use calcium chloride ice melt product. Be sure not to use rock salt or sodium chloride, as their corrosive nature can damage your roof.

Step 3: Fill a nylon stocking with the calcium chloride ice melt.

Step 4: Safely place and position the calcium chloride-filled stocking vertically on the ice dam so it will create a channel through the ice.

Step 5: Protect any shrubbery or plants located under the dripping calcium chloride stocking as the chemicals are harmful.

Either you waited too long to winterize your roof, or you were caught by surprise from a winter snow storm, you now know ice dams cause a lot of trouble. If you don’t have the proper insurance coverage, this can be a hefty repair bill. In the event of ice dam damage, make sure you document all information on the ice dam and what was ruined. Next, you should contact the experts at TJ Woods and see how we can help provide you with the best insurance coverage for you and your home.