The mid-west is seeing it’s first big freeze of the winter and there is no doubt this will set the foundation for ice dams on many homes. An ice dam is created when snow accumulates on the roof and is then melted by the sun and radiant heat from the house.
The water then collects on the overhang which is cooler than the roof and freezes. This buildup backs up the melted water which has no place to drain and therefore can find ways into your home. The blocks of ice that form can damage eaves and gutters from their weight and also be a health hazard as they fall off the house.
The key in preventing ice dams is to keep your roof the same temperature as the eaves. You should also increase ventilation, add insulation, and seal off every possible air leak that might warm the underside of the roof.
Remove Snow Quick
The best way to prevent and remove ice dams are to remove snow as soon as it accumulates. Don’t let it sit on your roof and melt and then refreeze. Use a broom or brush and wipe the floor away from the edge of the roof.
By doing this you are taking away the ability for an ice dam to form
Ice Dam Now What?
If you’ve already got an ice dam problem you’ll need to remove it and you can use a shove, urea fertilizer and heat tape to help.
You need to safely climb a ladder and get next to the ice dam then use your shove and start breaking away the snow and ice from the roof. A rake could also work. Be careful during this process that you don’t damage your roof.
After you’ve removed as much ice as you can you need to spread the urea fertilizer over the ice. The fertilizer will help in melting the ice and in addition apply the heat tape to remove excess ice.
Be careful when getting off your roof and monitor the ice dam.