9 Ways To Safely Remove Ice Dams From Your Roof
Big frozen icicles dangerously hanging from building edge on cold winter day, dangerous ice formation on metal house roof during bright sunny, but sub-freezing weather outside. Ice dam prevention

9 Ways To Safely Remove Ice Dams From Your Roof

Winter comes with its own set of dangers and problems, not the least of which is ice dams. Ice dams form when snow on your roof melts and refreezes, causing a build-up of ice along the edge of the roof. This can cause serious damage to your home if it’s not removed safely and promptly.

Here are 9 safe methods for removing ice dams from your roof:

1. Heated Roofing

The easiest and safest way to remove ice dams is to invest in a heated roofing system that will melt the snow on your roof and prevent it from refreezing. This option requires professional installation and can be expensive, but if you live in an area with heavy snowfall like Minnesota, it may be worth the money for the peace of mind. This may cost you anywhere between $461 and $1397 according to Home Adviser.

2. Cooling Down the Attic

Ice dams form because warm air from the attic leaks into your roof, causing snow to melt and then refreeze along the edge of the roof. To prevent this, it’s important to make sure your attic is cool by sealing any openings or cracks in the roof that may let in hot air. This is a relatively inexpensive fix that can be done with sealant, weather stripping, and insulation.

3. Heated Ice Dam Cutters

For a more hands-on approach, you can purchase heated ice dam cutters. These are metal bars that are powered by electricity and used to chop off the edges of ice dams. This method is best used in combination with other methods, such as installing gutter guards or heating cables. You should be careful to not cause any damage to your shingles or gutters when using an ice dam cutter.

4. Steam Treatment

Steam treatment is a more costly method, but it can be effective for removing large ice dams. A professional will use a steam cleaner to melt the ice dam and then scoop off the chunks of ice. This method is best used in combination with other methods, such as installing gutter guards or heating cables.

5. Heated Power Wash Treatment

This method requires a professional with special equipment. The technician will use a heated power washer to blast the ice off of the roof. This is a more effective method than steam treatment, but it can also be more costly. Like the other methods, this is best used in combination with other measures such as installing gutter guards or heating cables.

6. Rake Snowfall Off the Roof

Although it won’t remove existing ice dams, raking snow off your roof regularly can help prevent the formation of future ones. This is especially important if you live in an area with heavy snowfall. A simple garden rake can be used to pull snow off your roof without damaging the shingles. This is a preventive measure, but it’s still important to follow the other steps listed here if you already have ice dams.

7. Use Calcium Chloride Ice Melt

Calcium chloride ice melt is a great option for removing existing ice dams. Using hot water or steam will cause damage to the shingles, but calcium chloride melts the ice without damaging them. It is important to be careful when using this product and always wear gloves and eye protection since it can be dangerous if left on too long or used in excess.

8. Break Up Ice Dams With A Mallet

This is a risky option and should only be used as a last resort. If you can safely reach the edge of the roof, you may be able to break up ice dams with a rubber mallet or hammer, but it’s important to take extra care not to damage shingles or other materials on the roof. You’re also going to need to be extremely careful when walking on the roof because it’s easy to slide off and hurt yourself in the process.

9. Use Good Roofing Practices

Finally, it is important to use good roofing practices when trying to prevent and remove ice dams. Make sure your roof has adequate insulation and ventilation, as well as an effective drainage system that ensures meltwater runs off rather than accumulating on the roof. Any damaged or deteriorated shingles should be replaced and ensure that all gutters are regularly cleaned out. Taking these preventative measures can help reduce the likelihood of ice dam formation and make it easier to safely remove them if they do form.

When To Call Titan Restoration & Construction

These nine methods for removing ice dams from your roof can help you protect your home from potential damage caused by water infiltration. While many of these steps can be completed safely, it’s always recommended to contact a professional. For any of your roofing needs, Titan Restoration & Construction is here to help. Our team of trained technicians will ensure that your home is protected and that any ice dams are safely removed with minimal disruption to your life. Contact us today for more information about our residential roofing services.

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