Ice Dams, What To Know and How To Prevent Them

How To Prevent Ice Dams

One of the most dangerous threats to the safety of your home is backflow caused by ice dams. Water that should be running down your gutter pools on your roof. It can cause leaks and foundation damage. 

Not sure how to prevent ice dams? After all, you can’t stop nature from creating ice.

No, but you can stop the ice from creating a dam on your roof with some simple tips.

The guide details how to prevent ice dams and remove them once they settle.

Clean Out The Gutters

When it comes to preventing ice dams, one way to ensure the safety of your home is to clean out your gutters. If you have several trees around your house, you should clean your gutters about 2-3 times a year to clear twigs, leaves, and debris. 

When gutters get clogged up with leaves, branches, and other debris, it creates backflow. This is especially dangerous as winter approaches. While the clog itself won’t cause an ice dam, it will make it easier for melted snow to freeze and create ice dams in winter. 

Without proper drainage, the melted snow cannot properly move from the roof to the ground, so it will lodge itself in the gutter and freeze, eventually building into a much larger problem. 

You give yourself the best chance of avoiding damage to your home from ice dams by cleaning out your gutters in November.

Keep Your Attic Insulated

A poorly insulated attic means that heat is escaping onto the roof. This may not seem like an issue in warmer months, but once the snow settles, it can mean disaster for your home. Any heat that escapes will cause snow on your roof to melt down into the gutter, and unfortunately for you, the gutters will still be cold enough to freeze that melted snow into ice, causing ice dams.

To prevent dealing with frozen gutters, take the time to check the insulation in your attic and make sure no heat is escaping. Melted snow can seep into the walls of your home and cause much bigger, more expensive problems if left unattended. 

Maintaining the integrity of your attic will extend to preventing damage to your roof and home from potential backflow and ice dams.

Ice dam prevention and removal

Removing Ice Dams

Ice dam removal is dangerous work and best left to professionals trained in the safest and most efficient techniques for clearing your roof of snow and other hazards. Please do not attempt to remove it yourself. Not only do you risk falling off the roof, therefore bringing injury or worse upon yourself, but you also risk damaging the integrity of your roof and home.

Professionals will use a combination of both steam and a hot water power cleaner to remove ice dams safely. If you must attempt to remove the ice yourself, exercise extreme caution to avoid injuring yourself and contact a professional to do the most intensive part of the job.

Conclusion

The best way to prevent ice from forming in your gutter is to clean out your gutters regularly, especially before winter arrives. You can also prevent ice dams from forming by insulating your attic properly. 

Should you need ice dam removal, contact a professional to have them come out and safely remove the ice. While you can do this yourself, it’s so much easier and safer to let the pros take care of it. They have the equipment and experience needed to clear your ice dams quickly while you stay warm inside.

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