Preventing Ice Dams
With the onset of winter each year, homeowners who live in areas that receive intensely cold weather must take extra steps to make sure their homes are protected from the potential damage that water, in the form of rain and snow, can do to not only their home in general but their roofs especially.
One of the most common issues that homeowners who live in colder areas of the country will have to deal with is trying to get rid of ice dams on their roofs. These are a major annoyance and can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your roof if you are not careful to prevent them. Before we discuss how to prevent them, though, let’s take a brief moment to actually explain what an ice dam is in the first place.
An ice dam is formed when snow lands on your roof, melts after a while because your roof is warmer than the air, and then refreezes when it gets down to your gutters, which are cold and wet. This creates a large blockade of ice which can then get under your roofing shingles and seep right through the roof and into your home. These leaks can easily leave you with ceilings and walls stained, wet, and peeling and begin to rot your roof.
This is why it is so important to try and prevent them from occurring in the first place. While the best way to do this is to keep your roof and attic cold as well, it sometimes may not be possible to keep an ice dam from forming on your roof.
In that instance, there are several products you can use which will help you get rid of them before they continue to grow in size and do real damage to your roof, your attic, and the rest of your home.
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One of the quickest ways to begin getting rid of the ice dam on your roof is to melt it away with an ice melt sock. While you cannot buy this product premade in the stores, you can assemble it at home with a couple of easy-to-buy items. The main items you will need are some pantyhose and some pet-safe ice melt tablets, as there’s no reason to hurt your pets or local wildlife while trying to get rid of an ice dam.
Simply remove the leg part from the stockings and fill them up with the ice melt tablets. This will allow them to melt through any ice and eventually, the dam will begin to evaporate. As a preventative measure, you can place them in the gutters before the ice dam ever forms in the first place, thus saving yourself, and your wallet, a lot of time, heartache, and money from having to hire a professional to remove it.
Another tool that is very helpful to have around this time of year in order to help get rid of ice dams that may have formed on your roof is a snow rake. Once you have your snow rake, you can use it on the eaves of your roof and get rid of the snow before it starts to freeze, which makes this option more of a preventative measure than a reactive one.
While the snow rake is designed to be gentle to your roof, the important thing to know about it is that you want to use it as firmly as possible without damaging any of your shingles. Remove as much snow as you can in one go and check the shingles afterward to be sure they are still in good condition.
An additional item that you can have in your ice-busting arsenal is a heating cable that has been specially designed to de-ice your roof. There are essentially two options in terms of using this product: trying to install them on your roof yourself, or hiring an electrician or roofing contractor to do it for you.
If you do opt to install them yourself, keep in mind there are a number of safety issues you need to be aware of before attempting the installation. For one thing, make sure there is no snow on the roof when you attempt the installation, as you will very likely end up falling off of the roof. You also need to be sure that you are not creating a short circuit, as that could easily electrocute you or end up starting a house fire that seriously injures someone else.
If you do not feel you can do the installation on your own, contact a professional and don’t take chances with your safety.
Preventing ice dams from forming on your roof should be one of your primary concerns as a homeowner. Learn how by reading our new blog.
When the winter season comes around, not taking the time to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof could end up costing you thousands of dollars. Read our new blog post today to learn how to prevent them from forming and the tools you’ll need.
As winter rolls around, homeowners have to be vigilant in protecting their homes from damage, like keeping ice dams off their roofs. Read our new blog to discover the best ways to prevent them.