Five Ways To Get Rid of Ice Dams

 Daryl Gentry

 February 23, 2021

An icicle hanging from your gutter may look nice, but it could mean trouble for your roof.

The weather conditions that allow icicles to form, like a snow-covered roof and freezing temperatures, can lead to ice dams, which are thick ridges of solid ice that build up along the roof eaves.

Ice Dams can tear down your gutters, loosen your shingles, and backup water causing it to pout into your house.

If that happens, the results can be troublesome for homeowners.

The nasty water damage from ice dams includes causing the paint to peel and your floors to warp, roof leak, and it can stain your ceilings and cause them to sag.

That's without even considering how soggy the insulation in your attic is. That wet insulation can turn into a hotbed for mold and mildew, causing its own set of problems.

Perhaps you're familiar with the damage ice dams can do to roofs.  Every year homeowners wonder, "how do you prevent ice dams?" or "how do you remove ice dams from your roof?"

But don't worry, ice dam removal is possible. In the article below, we will talk about five methods for ice dam removal. 

What Is an Ice Dam?

Ice dams form along the edge of your roofline when the snow melts and freezes.

This will prevent excess water from draining properly off of your roof.

An ice dam can also form around vents, skylights, or anywhere else two inclines’ sides of your roof meet.

When the ice dam is frozen, it won't pose a significant threat.

But when winter starts to warm up, there's the potential that the water from the melting ice can pool up and get under your shingles.

If the water stays there long enough, it will flow through the roof into other parts of your house.

This often results in damage to your home.

How To Get Rid Of Ice Dams On The Roof?

There are ways to remove ice dams so you can avoid the headaches of their repercussions.

The best thing you can do for an ice dam is to have a professional take care of it.

But if you're limited on time and need an immediate solution before you call your local roof repair contractors, there are a few methods that are very popular and effective.

Blow Cold Air Through Your Attic

The thing that causes most ice dams to form is hot air from your home rising to your roof.

That hot air melts the snow on your roof until it slides down, reaching the cold eaves and edges of your roof.

This is where it freezes under shingles and around your gutters, forming the ice dam.

An easy way to combat this is to place fans in your attic and point them directly at your roof, where the problem starts.

When you cool down the underside of your roof, your snow won't melt in the first place, keeping the ice dam from forming.

Rake Your Roof

Many people start picking away at the ice on their roof with a chisel or a hammer.

This isn't the best idea because it's hard on your roof, and you could cause even more damage.

It also poses a safety threat for you.

If you're insisting on using hand tools to break up the ice dam, the best thing to use is a rake.

A long-handled aluminum rake is designed to remove clutter from the roof and gutters.

The long handle allows you to keep your feet planted safely on the ground.

Roof rakes with a wheel will be your best option because it won't cause any damage to your roof.

Raking snow and ice off your roof will change the exterior temperature of your roof right away.

This will prevent the build-up of ice dams before it becomes a major issue.

Use A Deicer

If you don't have the time or the ability to rake your roof, a chemical deicing product is the next best option.

Deicers contain an assortment of chemicals that will speed up the melting process.

They can be found at many local hardware and home improvement stores.

Chemical deicers typically come in tablet or crystal form, and they are easily distributed along the ice in your gutter efficiently.

The chemicals will work to melt the ice, diminishing the buildup and draining it through your gutters.

Heated Cables

Heated cables are a much more expensive option than blowing cold air, using a roof rake, or buying a deicer, but heated roof cables are an excellent option in the long-term to prevent ice dams.

Heated cables are proactive, meaning they prevent ice dams before they form.

They are also available at most hardware and home improvement stores.

It typically costs somewhere between $50-$100 to get enough cable to install it in troublesome areas where ice dams build up the most.

If you want to install the cables around the entire perimeter of your roof, depending on the size of your roof, it could cost you somewhere between $600 and $900.

The cost of installing heated roof cables also depends on if you install the cables yourself or hire a professional.

The heat from the heated roof cables works great, but they need to be installed before the first snowfall of the year.

Call a Professional

If you're not sure you can deal with ice dams on your own, or if you don't want to get on an icy roof, don't worry.

You can call a local roofing company to do it for you.

The method for removal of ice dams we've talked about works, but they are strenuous and require a significant time investment.

If you’re just not up to it, call your local roofing professional.

A locally owned company like TK Roofing and Gutters will come to your home and get rid of any existing ice dams and complete any roof repairs needed caused by the ice dams. 

They can also set up a solution that will keep them away. The roofers can also help give you tips to get your roof ready for spring. 

Trust Your Roof To The Roof Repair Experts-TK Roofing and Gutters 

Many roofs get ice dams during the winter, so you're not alone.

TK Roofing and Gutters should be your number one choice to help with your ice dam problems.

They offer quick and reliable services that will help with your ice dams or the issues that have come about due to the ice dams.  

Their roof repair contractors can repair or replace the problem areas and help make sure that your home and your family are protected from all that Ohio's snowy winters throw at you

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