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Steps to be Taken When Ice Dams are Found on the Roof

Kyle Brink

22 January 2018

When your home’s eaves have icicles it might mean that ice dams are present on your roof. Ice dams typically appear when the roof is covered with snow. The process of ice formation starts when drips of water that fall from melted snow originating from the higher parts of the roof arrive at a colder eave and become frozen.

Below are some of the things you can do to prevent ice dam induced water traps from entering your home.

#1. Get rid of all the traces of snow off the eaves of your roof as well as the upper areas of the ice dams. Don’t use a ladder during winter, as this is extremely dangerous. Using a rake or other items that have similar features and functions is a better idea. However, caution should still be imposed as they might be damaged shingles or other substances on the roof. Also, keep a distance from power sources and lines. When snow has thickened up, this scenario acts as an insulator in the sense that it makes the roof become higher in temperature compared to the external area. When the temperature in the attic is higher than freezing, the roof is able to warm up and as a result it can melt the frozen water even when the external weather is not at freezing level.

#2. Contact an expert ice dam remover. This option is rather expensive as typically you need to pay around $20/= per square foot of eave and the cost can go up based on the height of your roof as well as other contributing elements. Nevertheless, this technique offers an immediate solution and at times you just have to choose this option especially when water has entered your home.

#3. If you can figure out how to move external air into the attic, for instance by using a fan, it’s likely for the roof to become lower in temperature; thus not capable of melting the snow accumulating on top of it.

What are the common plans on curing the ice dams which may result in water leakage that may damage the interior part of the house?

One good solution is to prevent heat generated in the living area from penetrating into the attic. Increased insulation should be added into the attic, above as well as on top of the ceiling as these areas aren’t as spacious as the attic. The overall result may contribute to the reduction of the use your heaters; thus, power saving is possible.

Certain houses aren’t treatable with common roofing solutions. Therefore, to eliminate the ice dams the roofs might need some alterations. The installation of a new cable system might be a good idea as well.

Modern houses are typically built with ventilation paths that allow air to enter the soffit which is located beneath the eaves. The paths allow air from the attic to escape via the vents located at the peak of the roof. This procedure maintains an ideal temperature for the whole area of the roof and this lowers the formation of ice dams. A roofer who is also an expert in vent restructuring can help homeowners in adding up the venting to their roof.