By Heidi Petschauer | February 19, 2020

How To Prevent Ice Dams and Winter Roof Damage

Here at Petschauer, we feel it is important to have good information to minimize property damage due to the harsh, cold and snowing weather that is just around the corner.

An ice dam forms when water from melting snow freezes at the edge of your roofline. If you do not remove the snow, you run the risk that the ice dam can grow large enough to keep the water from draining off the roof and then water can back up underneath the shingles and find its way to the interior, which may damage your roof, attic, and upper levels of your home.

How can you tell if you have an Ice Dam?

  • Look for large icicles hanging from your 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 can you 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 your leaders and gutters are clear of leaves and debris as this allow melted snow to drain properly
  • Insulate your roof and attic
  • Seal up any holes that can cause water to seep through
  • Make sure your 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! If done incorrectly you can damage your roof.
  • Do NOT use rock salt to melt the ice as this will cause even more damage to your roof
  • 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 forming will give you more time and peace of mind so that you can enjoy the festive season with your friends and family.

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