Top Tips for Dealing with Dangerous Ice Dams
Your home’s roof can keep your home efficient, safe, and comfortable for over five decades, but elements such as rain, strong winds, and ice can take a toll on its integrity. More specifically, you should be aware of the damaging effect of ice dams - they might be pretty, but they can compromise your home safety, tear off gutters, and cause severe water damage.
In this guide by DRYMedic Water Damage Restoration, you can learn more about ice dam prevention and quick fixes to keep your home safe and comfortable this winter.
What Are Ice Dams?
If you have ever noticed those idyllic-looking icicles hanging from the gutters, you know what ice dams look like. These ice formations are the result of a simple chemical reaction, but they can be immensely damaging for your roof and home structure.
If it has been snowing, the home heat loss can melt the snow accumulated on the roof. The freezing outdoor temperatures can then freeze the newly melted snow before leaving the roof. As the dams continue to grow, ice will seep through the shingles and cause a range of damages, including:
- Torn gutters and fascia
- Water infiltration
- Severe interior water damage
- Mold issues
- Peeling paint
- Loose shingles
Preventive roof inspections and winter-proofing your home can help you prevent ice dams, but consider the benefits of the quick fixes below if they have started to appear.
Clean Your Gutters
Gutters might not directly cause ice dams, but they contribute to the issue. Indeed, they are a vulnerable area where water collects, remains stagnant, and drains off slowly. You can prevent clogs and standing water by:
- Keeping your gutters clean
- Prepare your gutters before winter
- Clean leaves and debris
- Remove mold and algae that can affect the gutters’ integrity
- Fix leaks that cause water to move slowly and promote ice dams formation
- Use heated cables to reduce temperature differences between the two sides of the roof
Safely Rake It
One of the most used methods to remove ice dams is to break them down with hammers, chisels, and shovels. However, these strategies can damage the roof underneath the ice popsicles and be dangerous for you. If you have no other option to remove ice dams, you might consider raking them. Stand on the ground and use a long-handled aluminum roof rake to remove the ice to do so safely.
Use Ventilation and Cold Air
When trying to fix growing ice dame, you will need to reduce the difference between the outdoor and indoor temperatures. This temperature difference can be particularly evident in the attic because hot air from the house tends to rise and accumulate here.
If you have noticed that water has started to leak in, take a box fan into the attic, reducing the internal temperature and ventilating the room. You will stop leaks within minutes, and reduce the formation of external dams.
Use Ice Melting Solutions
Some ice melting solutions, such as calcium chloride and sodium chloride, can help you remove ice, snow, and ice dams from your roof. Just fill a discarded pantyhose with the solution and, using a rake, position it across the gutter. The deicer will melt the ice and create a canal for water to flow off.
Prevent and Permanently Cure Ice Dams with Professional Water Mitigation
End your experience with ice dams and all the trouble they bring to your home. Some solutions - including adding insulation, providing attic ventilation, and reconnecting exhausts to discharge outside - can help you prevent ice dams and find a permanent solution. Speak to restoration experts at DRYMedic to learn how to reduce ice dams and keep your home protected.