How to Repair Ice Dams
We’ve hit the middle of winter, and if ice dams are forming already, don’t panic! There are ways to stop the leaks and remove or melt any that have formed on your roof. Find out what to do if you spot an ice dam on your roof.
Temporarily Stop A Leak With a Box Fan
If you’re noticing leaks in your roof or in your attic from an ice dam, it’s time to grab the box fan! Plug it in and point it towards the source of the leak. The cold air should help to freeze any melting ice, and temporarily stop the leak. This is not a permanent fix, and will require contacting a professional to fix your roof.
Use a Roof Rake to Clear Away Snow
Removing ice from the exterior of your roof is harder than you’d think. This isn’t like a driveway, attempting to shovel or chisel the ice away is dangerous for you and bad for your roof. This can cause roofing damage, and in turn, leaks into your home. Salting your roof can cause roofing structures to break down, so this is not recommended either.
Buy or rent a roof rake and use this to pull snow off your roof to prevent it from freezing and building into an ice dam. A roof rake has a flat side and wheels to prevent scratching or damaging your roof, and gently pulls snow off. You can also use a roof rake while standing in your yard, so it’s much safer!
Use Panty Hose or Long Socks to Melt Ice
Fill panty hose or long, thin socks with a calcium chloride based ice melt, and place this on top of the ice dam with the ends hanging off the gutter. This will melt a pathway leading off your roof for ice to flow into as it melts. Placing ice melt directly onto your roof can lead to discoloration or nail corrosion, so be sure to use panty hose or socks to help prevent this.
Know When to Hire a Professional
Keep an eye out for signs of an ice dam! These signs include:
- You’ve had an ice dam before
- Icicles forming along the edge of your roof
- Water dripping down the interior or exterior of your home
- Roof gutters are filled with ice
- Poor ventilation and insulation in your attic
- A large pile of snow on your roof
Prepare Your Home for Next Winter
Prevent future ice dams by carefully sealing air leaks in your attic and by using good quality insulation to ensure your roof stays cold, and your house stays warm and dry. You can also read more in “Your Home’s Winter Checklist” to see what else you can do to help avoid a winter disaster. Curious about what else we can do for you about Rapid Restoration? Find out more about us and why we strive to be one of the most respected disaster cleanup providers in the region.
Check out these blogs for more winter help!