Ice Dam

Is this winters snowfall going to cost you thousands of dollars?

Removing heavy snow from your roof can prevent expensive water damage caused by ice dams. Water from melting snow on your roof can damage your walls roof and ceilings costing you a lot of money as well as being a huge inconvenience to you.

Water leaks from ice and snow are caused by the heat of your home melting the snow on your roof. Water then refreezes and builds at your gutters. Soon you will have an ice dam. This ice dam builds and prevents water from escaping the roof. The water will then take the path of least resistence under shingles or flashing and finally into your home.

The best fight against ice dams is to prevent them from forming. Using a “roof rake” is one option. A roof rake is generally an aluminum blade on the end of a long extension pole. Often times the poles are extendable or extensions can be purchased for them.
Take your roof rake and remove the first two to three feet of snow from your roof. You DO NOT need to remove all of the snow from the roof. As long as the water has somewhere to go it will be fine. Be careful when removing snow. BE GENTLE. Do not damage your shingles. Also, stand back away from the roof as far as you can in case a large section of snow gives way. Do not stand on a ladder while removing snow. If you need extra length see if extensions are available for your rake.

Another option for prevention of ice dams is heat cable. This is electrical cable that can be attached to your roof and in your gutter. It can be plugged in when needed and will thaw and melt ice dams away. Ideally you would want to install a product such as this when it was a little warmer (shingles can be real brittle when they are cold). It can’t be installed after the ice dam has already formed either.

So what if an ice dam has already formed?
Ice dams that are already formed are difficult to remove without damaging your roof. Remember your shingles are brittle. The last thing you want to do is put holes in your shingles by scraping and chipping the ice off your shingles. Using heat such as a torch may start a fire or even cause more water at a faster rate to enter your home under the shingles. Some contractors recommend rock salt but this could also cause damage to your shingles. Most manufacturers of shingles do not recommend this approach. Unfortunately, the only truly safe recommendation is prevention.


Roof Melt

If you need to do something to prevent a flood and a little damage to your roof is considered collateral damage then use a roof deicer that is mostly if not all calcium chloride based. In terms of ice melt chemicals calcium chloride does the least amount of harm to your shingles. A good option is to use Roof Melt ice dam melter. It comes in a 14 pound tub with 60 tablets that you can safely throw on the roof from the ground level. Ideally you want to land the pellets a few feet behind the ice dam. Remember ice dams form due to the heat of your home melting the snow on the roof. More than likely spots that form ice dams are forming them due to heat loss occurring through your roof. Make sure that you have proper insulation in the attic of your home and the ice dam issue should go away.

Visit LeVahn Brothers Hardware and Plumbing 12700 Bass Lake Road in Maple Grove to pick up a snow rake, roof melt, or roof & gutter heat cable. Visit our web site for more info






Call us at 763-553-1222