How To Prevent Ice Dams and Winter Roof Damage

Here at Petschauer Insurance we feel it is important to offer good information so you can minimize property damage that may occur due to the harsh, cold and snowy weather that is just around the corner.

Ice dams, although easily preventable, happen often in the winter, and can cause a lot of damage to the exterior and interior of your property.

Aicedam_largen ice dam forms when melting snow freezes at the edge of your roof line. If you do not remove the snow, you run the risk of the ice dam growing large enough to keep the water from draining off the roof.  The water will then back up underneath the shingles and find its way to the interior. This can damage your roof, attic, and upper levels of your building.

How to you tell if you have an Ice Dam:

  • Look for large icicles hanging from the gutters and sides of the roof, as this is a sign that water may be trapped on your roof
  • Look for water stains in your attic ceiling or exterior walls

What you can do to prevent Ice Dams:

  • Remove snow from your roof after every heavy storm BEFORE it freezes by using a roof rake.
  • Make sure that leaders and gutters are clear of leaves and debris so melted snow can drain properly
  • Insulate your roof and attic.
  • Seal up any holes in the roof that can cause water to seep through
  • Make sure any vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic fans, and light fixtures are properly insulated and sealed.
  • Install a leak barrier underneath the shingles to act as an additional preventative measure, as it keeps water from seeping inside your building.

How to remove an Ice Dam:

  • Call a professional roof repairer! If done incorrectly, you may cause further damage to your roof.
  • Do NOT use rock salt to melt the ice as this will cause even more damage.
  • If you do choose to remove it yourself, make sure that you use calcium chloride to melt the ice.

Please be proactive and be prepared for the possibility of an ice dam forming on your roof. Preventing an Ice Dam from will give you peace of mind and time to enjoy the festive season with your friends and family.

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