How to Deal With Ice Dams


The winter weather poses many problems for you and your home. Snow and ice can have many negative effects on your roof. They can also develop into things like ice dams which can damage your home. Ice dams can occur from time to time, but it’s always best to know how to avoid them and how to deal with existing ones.

How They Form
Ice dams are a result of melted snow and ice that begin to freeze on the edge of a roof. This newly formed dam will then prevent any other melting snow and ice from properly draining. Thus increasing the size of the dam while also increasing the chances of roof leaks and structural damage.

What to Do Now
First things first, head up to roof level and start clearing off all of the snow. The snow at the top of the roof is the main factor involved in the formation of an ice dam. Use a roof rake to clear all of the snow from your roof. Do not touch the ice dam itself because ripping it apart can damage your roof and gutters. Instead, create a few different canals to allow any backed up water to drain off of the roof.

Keep all warm air from entering your attic space, as this is what mainly causes ice dams. Weatherstrip any entrances and doors leading to the attic as well as sealing any cracks or holes. The most efficient way to avoid future ice dams is to insulate the attic. This will prevent warm air from escaping the attic and melting any snow that is on the roof.

Dealing with ice dams is unfortunate because there is not much you can do once they have formed. The best way to rid your home of them is to prevent them in the first place. An ice dam can do some damage to your roof, gutters, and siding so always have Preferred Exterior stored in your contacts list. To learn more, or to schedule a free estimate, give us a call at (516) 354-7252.

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