holy ice damWinter has been here for a while now, and it doesn’t look like Mother Nature is ever going to catch us a break from this vicious cold snap. Along with frigid cold temperatures, and snow comes the dreaded ice dam season. Big chunks of ice can form along eaves, backing up melted water, which can cause it to seep into the ceiling and walls within your home. Ice dams can be extremely disastrous if left untreated. A little preparation can go a long way to help prevent ice dams from creating signification costs for damage and repair.

What is an Ice Dam?

Basically, snow melts on top of the roof, over the living space, if the roof’s temperature exceeds 32 degrees. Often times this occurs because there is a leak somewhere in the home causing warm air to seep into the attic. When the snow melts, water runs down the roof edges and slopes. When the water reaches the eaves, where the roof extends into below-freezing temperatures, it will then refreeze into an ice dam, which causes water from additional melting to back up underneath the shingles. ┬áThat water can leak into the walls and ceilings, which can create stains, mold and mildew.

Snow is a great insulator, and having a thick layer on top of your roof can cause the roof to get warmer and melt more snow, which can make matters worse.

How to prevent ice dams?

One of the best ways you can prevent ice dams from forming, and to reduce damage is to make sure your living space is filled with enough insulation, and proper ventilation in your attic. The goal between the two tasks is to attempt to keep the attic below freezing so it won’t melt snow sitting on the roof. If the house is not sealed properly, but sufficiently insulated, it will become counterproductive because it can draw more warm air from the house up into the attic.

It is also important to get as much snow off of your roof as possible, as snow acts as an insulator causing the snow on the roof to melt.

How to get rid of ice dams

Hacking and prying away at ice dams with a hammer, chisel, or shovel is very bad for your roofing–not to mention extremely dangerous for any homeowner. Tossing salt on the ice dams will only do more harm to your planting than to the ice.

One thing you can do to help get rid of ice dams is to take a box fan into the attic and aim it at the underside of the roof where water is seeping in. This small stream of cold air will freeze the leaking water. Another thing you can do is pull off snow from your roof with a long-handled aluminum roof rake while you are standing safely on the ground.

The best thing you can do to get rid of ice dams is to call a professional to take care of the entire process. A professional ice dam remover can take care of the ice dams and snow removal process so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

If you have an ice dam, or need snow removed from your roof, call Minnesota Leafless Gutters today at 612-221-0362!