Snowfall and freezing temperatures leave many homes at risk of water damage from ice dams. Ice dam removal should be handled by professionals and can be dangerous for the inexperienced.
What is an ice dam – An ice dam occurs when snow melts and refreezes on a roof. Sunlight or heat from the inside of a home partially melts the snow as it refreezes overnight. Water can penetrate the shingles and then freeze and expand, eventually causing damage to the roof and allowing water to penetrate inside the home.
How to prevent ice dams – There are many products available to prevent an ice dam. Heat tape, snow shields, roof melt and improved attic insulation are all beneficial products to prevent an ice dam. Roofing and insulation experts can be your first line of defense against an ice dam. Using a roof rake to clear snow from the roof before it can freeze is an effective tool, but it can be dangerous and difficult work.
Removing an ice dam – Removal can be a tricky and dangerous job. Aggressively removing an ice dam can pull shingles and cause further damage. Do not use a sharp tool like an axe or pick to remove an ice dam as it can penetrate the roof. The most effective method is to use a roof melt product to create a trough for the ice to melt off the roof. It is also important for gutters and downspout to be clear to allow for proper drainage