Ice Dams

ICE DAMS - What they ARE and how to get rid of them

One of the first signs of an ice dam forming is hanging icicles from property gutters.

Ice dams are caused by variations in the temperature of your roof. When the snow melts up top, it slides down towards the bottom of your roof and refreezes. The dam will form when indoor heating rises through the ceiling into the attic and then warms the roof’s surface. Snow from the higher end of the roof will then melt and flow down near the bottom until it reaches the part of the roof that is below 32 degrees. The water will then refreeze into an ice dam.

An ice dam may occur under the following circumstances:

1. There is snow on your roof.
2. The average outside temperature is below 32 degrees.
3. The roof surface temperature is above 32 degrees at its higher end and below 32 degrees towards the lower end.

3 Ways To Rid Your Property Of An Ice Dam

1. Rake any snow or ice from the roof.
Ice dams are typically only damaging if melting snow is able to pool up behind them and seep in under the shingles. Be careful with type of rake you use to ensure you do not damage the roof.

2. Use a chemical melting agent.
Use calcium chloride pellets, and only calcium chloride, to melt it away. Never use rock salt—it can damage your shingles and ruin any plants that it drips onto below. The best application method is to fill an old sock, tie off the end, and lay it across the ice that you want to melt.

3. Pour warm water over it.
Pass warm water over the ice in the gutters of the property. Continue to do so until the ice has significantly melted away. Take precautions with using a ladder or accessing your gutters from a second floor. Ask for assistance or use a professional company.

Interior disasters due to insufficient action being taken when Ice Dams were present:

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