How to Prevent or Remove Ice Dams

How to Prevent or Remove Ice Dams

Winter has come early for us in Colorado. With fluctuations between snow in the evenings and warm sun in the daytime, ice has an opportunity to wreak havoc. If you live in an area that deals with snow and ice, Innovative Builders wants to help you keep damage far away from your roof this Winter. Specifically, here are a few ways you can keep ice dams at bay.

What is an Ice Dam?

If you are unfamiliar with what an ice dam is, it is simply a buildup of ice, typically surrounding the outer edges of your roof. These can prove to be dangerous because they create a barrier that prevents melting snow and ice from having a proper outlet. When melted water has no proper runoff from the pitch of your roof, it is often forced into undesirable areas, like under your shingles. This in turn can cause trouble for you when the water inevitably causes damage to your insulation, wooden supports, and or drywall.

How to Prevent Ice Dams

In order to prevent ice dams from making a home out of yours, be on top of snow removal. Ideally, you will want to remove most snow from your roof after every snowfall. A roof rake will most likely be the easiest way to do this. You do not have to remove all of the snow but removing most of it will prevent build up, which is what will be hospitable to ice dams.

Other preventive measures you can take could be the installation of heat cables and properly improving the insulation in your attic. Heating cables can vary in price, so you can choose whatever fits your budget best. These cables can be outfitted to the rim of your roof to stave off ice buildup.

How to Remove Ice Dams

If an ice dam had time to form before you noticed it, do not worry, but you should take efforts to get rid of it sooner rather than later.

You can manually chip away at the ice with an ice pick or chisel but beware of damaging your shingles. Something like a rubber mallet may be a good solution.

Applying a de-icing agent can also help to melt the dam quickly. Just be sure to read the ingredients of the brand carefully. Chemical de-icing products that contain sodium chloride can damage your roof and any plants the ice melt may drop onto. If the ice dam has become particularly tough, you can always call a professional to help you. This can be a good idea anyway when dealing with slippery surfaces and heights.

Ultimately, Winter can be an enjoyable time. Watching the snow fall gently from your window, sitting next to a crackling fire, enjoying the company of your family, these are certainly things to look forward to. With these preventative tips, we hope you enjoy all the good things Winter has to offer and none of the opposite. If you live in the Denver area and need to give your roof some attention, do not hesitate to give us a call! Roof replacement and repairs are not the only things we do here at Innovative Builders. Feel free to browse our site for lists of the other things we do.

By Innovative Builders 12-12-2019