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  • Professional Exteriors, Inc

Ice Dams: What Are They, and What to Do About Them

Ice dams typically don’t occur every year, but this year’s winter has created the perfect conditions for them to form.

The heavy snowfalls, mild temperatures, and the overnight arctic air have worked together to create those picturesque icicles hanging off your home. Unfortunately, icicles are a sign that water is getting trapped on your roof and freezing as it tries to flee.

When heat escapes your home through your roof, it causes the snow sitting on your roof to melt and work its way down to the ground. But, with the temperatures being below freezing, it stops the water in its tracks and freezes solid. This cycle continues creating a large piece of ice sitting on the edge of your roof. Eventually, the water and ice can work its way under your shingles leaking into your attic and ultimately damaging your ceiling, walls, and furniture.

In years like this, ice dams can be inevitable but there are options to reduce the risk of a damaging ice dam forming on your home.

  • Remove the snow from your roof using a roof rake. Be cautious as if done incorrectly, it can cause damage to your shingles.

  • Slowly chip away at the ice until a small layer of ice on your shingles remains.

  • On warmer days – a steamer could be used to further melt away the ice. ONLY do this method during a stretch of above freezing weather.

There are some theories that using salt on your roof can help thaw the ice dam. This is possible, but we do not recommend it as there are ample risks to this method. When the ice does thaw, contaminated water will fall which poses health risks to any pets and wildlife, damage your landscaping, and it is possible to cause corrosion to your shingles.

If water DOES leak into your home, seek professional assistance to avoid further damage.

We do offer ice dam services such as roof shoveling, ice dam removal, and assistance with mitigation if damage is caused to the interior of your home. If you need assistance or have any questions, please give us a call!

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