If You’ve recently noticed ice dams on the roof and are immediately thinking that you should have taken the time to take preventive measures, ice proofed your roof instead of procrastinating or made preparations ahead of the winter storm the other day, you may need support with dealing with existing ice dams on your roof.
Having the assistance of experienced professionals can make this process easier. Regardless of your exact circumstances if you now need to deal with the presence of ice dams on your roof and have questions about how to get rid of them properly, this article can help.
Basics of Ice Dams
It is crucial to understand the formation of ice dams and how this can contribute to your decision around how to remove them. Ice dams are caused by accumulated snow which builds an insulating layer during extremely cold conditions. This is why ice dams are notoriously hard to remove from your roof. This insulated layer causes the freezing point to stay within the snow layer if it were not subject to melting.
This combined with the house’s heat radiating from the roof causes the snow on the roof to melt, forming what’s known as an ice dam. Sloping roofs tend to be the most common location for ice dams but regardless of how and where your ice dam has formed, you need professionals to help you remove it safely.
Why You Should Address Ice Dams on Your Roof
If not dealt with properly, ice dams can cause further property damage. They are more than an eye sore and can contribute to bigger problems that could be costlier and more difficult to fix in the future. For example, ice dams can result in leaks through your roof’s material. This leak could damage your ceiling, roof insulation, roof structuring and interior or exterior walls.
Falling ice dams can cause bodily injuries or damage to property. The prevention of ice dams is key to curbing this problem. If you want tips to stop ice dams from forming, read the full guide in order to do so. If you want more information about how to block ice dams from forming, read our guide.
Getting Rid of Ice Dams on Your Roof
There are a few different options available to you when you discover an ice dam.
Option 1: Remove Ice and Snow From the Roof
First of all, you can remove ice and snow from the roof. For best results, use a snow rake. For safety, use a rake while standing on the ground and pull the snow off the roof not sideways because you might otherwise damage your shingles.
Option 2: Break the Remaining Ice
You can use an awl or an ice pick. If you can handle it you can also use a hatchet or a crowbar but make sure to use a steady ladder or a stable object to stand on.
Option 3: Use a De-Icer
De-icers are products that you apply on ice to quicken the natural melting process. You can either sprinkle or scatter the de-icer on top of the ice. When the ice melts, the de-ice should drain away with the water flowing down.
Option 4: Apply Hot or Warm Water
This is more of a temporary band aid solution but it can be effective if you don’t have any other options in the moment. Pour or spray the hot or warm water safely over the ice to loosen up the ice dam. In rapidly dropping temperatures this hot or warm water could freeze so be careful.
Option 5: Hire a Professional
Roof service companies often have specialized team equipment that can quickly remove ice dams from the roof.
Consult with an expert when dealing with ice dams on your roof. Contact Dominion Roofing now.
Call Dominion Roofing to Get Rid of Ice Dams on Your Roof
We have extensive experience in dealing with all kinds of roof problems and maintenance. Call 416-789-0601 now, email or fax us or use the online contact form on our website. You can also visit our Toronto office for more support.
PRO TIP :
“While it’s true that roofing membranes can prevent leaks caused by ice dams, they technically don’t prevent ice dams from forming.”
FAQs on How to Get Rid of Ice Dams on Your Roof
Is it okay if I don’t remove ice dams right away?
It is strongly recommended that you contact a professional as soon as possible after you notice an ice dam because the longer it is located on your roof, the more damage it can cause.
Can heat cables help when it comes to managing ice dams?
Be careful when using heat cables to manage ice dams as this may be a temporary solution but might not remove all of the issues from your roof if damage has already occurred.
Will a metal roof prevent ice dams from forming?
Although metal roofing can help, it is not a cure all solution. A metal roof generally sheds snow better but snow that is running down your roof can still freeze on unheated overhangs forming an ice dam.
How do I keep ice dams from recurring?
You should follow these steps to prevent ice dams from recurring. The first is to close up attic bypasses to prevent warm air from escaping. Second, you should measure your attic’s insulation level. Lastly, you should add Roof and Soffit vents. If ice dams still occur after doing these steps, you can rake ice from your roof or install heat cables.
Can I use a shovel to remove ice dams?
Yes, using a shovel is effective when dealing with small ice dams. Simply shovel off the snow close to the edge then followed by the ones on the ledge. But, for larger ice dams, it is best to use other types of ice dam removers.
Are ice dam steamers effective?
There are different types of ice dam steamers, and the effectiveness varies for every type. Generally, ice dam steamers are effective in removing ice dams. The process of ice steaming is also the safest and fastest way to remove ice dams, and it is also the gentlest method since it does not damage your roof.