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Keep Your Roof Cold to Stay Warm! – PART III: Help! I Got an Ice Dam!

Dec 19, 2014

It is typical for homeowners to not put a single thought into ice dams until winter comes and they eventually need to deal with it. Unfortunately, the presence of ice dams gives you limited options for solutions, but not to worry — there are still effective actions that you can take.

Rake It Off — Fast!

Ice dams can form quickly especially if the factors it needs to develop are present. Thus, you also need to act quickly. If you can get out and up your roof, rake the snow off using a roof rake. You don’t need to go so high up, though. Just make it a point to remove at least the lower 4 feet of snow from the edge of the roof.

Blow In Cold Air

Arm yourself with a box fan and go to your attic. Aim the fan at the underside of the roof , most likely the area above heated spaces in your home below. This way, you can stop the melting of the snow and freeze the water before it can get to the edge of your roof.

Use Calcium Chloride or Ice Melt Product

If you notice an ice dam forming, take a calcium chloride or a similar ice-melting product. Indeed, you should not wait for the dam to take form, but if it already did, this is the most practical course of action that you can take. You need to melt the dam before it hardens enough to cause damage on your roof.

Professional Ice Dam Removal

Finally, if you end up with an ice dam, it is still best to call a professional to remove it for you. While there are things you can do to remove the dam yourself, your safety can still be compromised — for instance, melting the forming dam on your roof’s edge while you are on a ladder can be very risky. Contractors who offer ice dam removal has the skills, knowledge, and tools appropriate for this job and they can provide you with the best, long-lasting results.