Fast Fixes For Ice Dams

5 January 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

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Found in nature, icicles can be beautiful and even awe-inspiring.  Hanging from the eaves of a house, icicles can strike fear and loathing into the hearts of many homeowners. Icicles are symptoms of an ice dam, a condition where freezing water rolls down the roof and re-freezes at the eaves. As the ice builds, it begins to back up into the shingles. Eventually, this frozen blockage can force melting snow into the cracks between the decking, resulting in a leak in the attic. An ice dam can damage shingles, rot the roof deck and of course cause significant interior water damage. These quick fixes will help homeowners hoping to make it through the winter.

Rake the Snow from the Roof

Use a snow rake to remove the snow from the roof after each snowfall. This must be done before the snow has a chance to melt. Using a snow rake, you may be able to remove the majority of the snow without actually climbing a ladder or setting foot on the roof itself. If you cannot reach the snow from the ground, do not attempt to climb onto the roof. With snow and ice on your shoes, climbing a ladder or walking on the roof is too dangerous.

If you are able to rake the snow from the roof, keep the snow off of structures beneath your house, like the deck and the shed. Remember, snow is heavy. A big buildup of snow on these structures could cause a collapse. 

In addition, avoid raking snow into a location where it could potentially block the entrances to the house. Try to disperse the snow evenly around the house in locations where it is unlikely to get in the way or cause damage.

Pay Professionals to Remove Snow and Ice from the Roof

If you aren't able to remove the snow from your roof with the rake, hire professional help. Professional roofing companies like Belmarez Roofing have access to special tools that allow them to remove snow safely. Using methods like melting the snow with steam, professional roofers can clear all the snow from the roof of a house quickly and efficiently. 

Raking the snow or paying professionals to clear the snow from the roof is only a quick and temporary fix to a larger problem. To prevent the possibility of an ice dam in the future, additional insulation and roof ventilation must be installed in the spring. Once this is done, roofing repair may be necessary to fix any damage to the shingles and roof deck incurred by the ice dam.