Ice Dams


A winter storm is coming. Snow builds up on your roof. Over time this can turn to ice. This can be hazardous to you and your family. Even worse heat from attic can melt snow and create pools of melted water in your home.Deeper snow and cold temperatures increase the likelihood and size of ice dams. Here are a few solutions to prevent ice dams.

Ice Dam Facts

Ice dams may form when water from melting snow freezes into ice at the edge of your roof. They are very destructive as dams tear off gutters,shingles and displace water. Ice dams are also a factor in winter mold/mildew growth. Icicles over time grown into ice dams. Check for signs of water stains or damage if you don’t see any exterior signs. Contrary to popular belief  Ice dams tends to grow in the warmer areas of the roof. The melted ice refreezes on places where your roof is colder.  Gutters don’t cause ice dams they however concentrate water to the roof eaves area.

Ice Dam Remedies

  • It may seem counterintuitive. However using a hammer ,chisel or shovel is damaging to your roof.
  • Deicing salts are great for your driveaway . Particularly Calcium Chloride Salt works well. Rock salt or Sodium Chloride damages your roof.
  • Cover any plants under your roof to prevent exposure to melted salt water.
  • Fill a nylon stocking with salt. Place it over the dam.
  • The salt will slowly  melt the ice.
  • Another Method:Use a roof rake to deice your roof.
  • Remove snow 3-4 feet from the edge of your roof.
  • Seal all points where warm air leaks from the living space into spaces near the roof .
  • Insulate the living space.
  • Vent the space between the insulation and the roof.
  • After the Ice Dam has been removed. You need to tackle any possible water damage.
  • Stop mildew growth with a simple solution is 1 quart of bleach and 3 quarts of warm water.
  • Rinse the surface with clear water.

      Ice Dams

Heated Cables For Ice Dams

Heated Cables seem like an easy solution to a complex problem. You attach the cables on the roof’s edge. This will evenly spread out the heat across the area.  When heated cables are used properly they minimize the amount of water on your roof.  Heated Cables are more affordable compared to the major costs associated with remodeling roof for more insulation and ventilation.However these products are a major fire hazard. The heated cables can set fire to leaves or debris when its dry.  To prevent a fire they need to be monitored at all times.They use a lot of energy and can make a dent on your utility bill. Using heated cables is more like using a bandage than a permanent cure.


How to prevent Ice Dams

Preventing ice dams permanently is not too hard. Increase ventilation,add insulation, and seal off every possible leak.  Ventilation helps spread the heat throughout the area. Weather stripped caps can help insulate your attic. Don’t heat your roof.That way, the snow on the roof eventually dissipates without making large amounts of melted snow. To accomplish this cold air seeps in while heated air escapes.

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