Ice dams can form on sloped roofs due to inadequate amounts of insulation in the attic. The lack of proper insulation causes heat to leak out and melt the snow sitting on the roof. As the snow melts, it runs down towards the gutters, freezes, and turns into ice. Unfortunately, untreated ice dams on your roof can have both short-term and long-term consequences.
Since roof shingles are not completely waterproof, water produced by melting snow can cause damage by seeping into the roof. This causes leaks inside of your home and can eventually cause issues with your roof’s structural integrity. Even heavy snow that does not melt due to heat from the attic can cause the roof to cave in or even completely collapse. Removing ice dams is a better solution than potentially spending thousands of dollars on roof repair or replacement.
Mold can develop quickly in conditions with high moisture. As the water seeps in through your roof, mold can grow in the walls of your home where you cannot see it. Mold exposure can cause serious health complications such as a worsening of allergy or asthma symptoms and the development of new respiratory symptoms.
How to Clear an Ice Dam
Working on any roof can be dangerous, but there are some steps you can take to help mitigate ice damage:
- The first step in getting an ice dam off your roof is to remove the snow and ice with a long rake built for this purpose. Be sure to stand on the ground and use the extended rake to pull the snow and ice towards you since pulling it sideways could cause significant shingle damage.
- While standing on a secure ladder, use an awl, ice pick, hatchet, or crowbar to chip away ice starting with your roof’s gutters and working your way backwards. This will create a channel for melting ice to run through the gutters and onto the ground.
- Purchase a de-icer or chemical product at a hardware store in crystal or tablet form. These contain the necessary ingredients to start melting the ice. The water from the melted ice and the product residue should then drain out of the gutters. Another option is to put the ingredients of the product in an old sock, tie the end, and allow it to leak through to start melting the ice.
- Spray warm water onto the ice to promote melting. However, you should do this with the other steps and not independently since the water will eventually freeze.
Call a Professional to Remove Your Ice Dam
Ice dam clearing is not always a simple matter. It requires specific tools and an experienced professional can be of great value. Ice dam clearing is just one of the many services offered by HomeGuard Roofing & Restoration. We are based in Arvada, Colorado, but service a majority of state! Please contact us to request a quote or schedule service time.