An Overview On Preventing, Detecting And Removing Ice Dams

There is no doubt many parts of the country have suffered a brutal winter. And while signs of spring may be just around the corner, the snow hasn't melted quite yet. If you have found yourself with ice dam accumulation on your roof, you may be wondering how to safely remove them. This article will provide you with tips on how to remove ice dams, detect ice dams and how to prevent them to begin with. 

Prevent Ice Dams From Forming

The easiest way to remove ice dams from your roof is not letting them build up to begin with. The following tips can help prevent ice dams from forming:

  • Remove Snow Immediately. Use a roof rake to clear the snow from the edge of your roof immediately after a big snow fall. This will not only help to prevent an ice dam from forming, but it will also take some of the stress off your roof. The roof type, age and condition will come into play when it comes to how much snow your roof can handle. 
  • Clean the Downspouts.  In order to help the snow and ice drain off of the roof, make sure that your downspouts are clear. This can also help to prevent standing water from collecting near the gutter's downspout.

Determining You Have an Ice Dam

There are a couple ways to tell you have an ice dam, including: 

  • Check the icicles. If you find there are icicles confined to the gutters and you don't see any water trapped behind them, then you probably don't have an ice dam. However, icicles do pose a danger, so it's best to knock them down safely from the ground. If you can't get to them from the ground, consider hiring a roofing contractor to help in getting the icicles down. 
  • Look for water stains in the attic or on top of the on the top of the exterior walls on the upper level of your home. Stains may indicate a build up of ice and water and that build-up has penetrated the roof of the home. 

Removing an Ice Dam

You can remove an ice dam, including melting the ice dam with an ice melt product. You need to use calcium chloride and not rock salt, as the rock salt will damage your roof. It's best to consult with a roofing contractor from a company like Suncastle Roofing Inc to make sure you have the right product and you are applying it correctly. If you don't think you can reach the roof safely, hiring a contractor may be the best way to have the ice dam removed.