During the winter, especially in snowy areas, it is common for homeowners to experience an ice dam on their roof. Such a dam may pose some risks for the people inside the home and also cause roof damage if it is not taken care of as soon as possible.
Luckily, there are solutions that will help you take care of an ice dam on your roof, as well as some preventative measures you can take to prevent ice dams from forming again.
Read on to find out what they are.
Understanding the Formation of Ice Dams on a Roof
Warm air from the attic can transfer through the roof, melting the snow on top of it. As the water droplets from the melted snow run down the roof, they will refreeze as they reach the roof’s edge.
When this cycle starts and the layers of ice continue to build up, it will eventually create a dam on your roof. This ice dam will prevent the water from running off and also put a lot of extra weight on the roof.
How to Deal With an Ice Dam on Your Roof
Use Chloride Socks
Calcium chloride (not rock salt) is used for melting ice on driveways and sidewalks. This same product can be used for melting an ice dam on the roof. Instead of merely sprinkling the chloride on the roof, it is best to fill long socks or pantyhose with the granules and tie off their ends.
The tube-like shape will allow you to position the calcium-chloride sock vertically over the dam. Make sure to hang an inch of the sock’s end over the roof edge. As a result, a tube-like channel will melt through the ice dam, which will allow additional water to run safely off the roof and reduce the added weight.
Call a Professional Roofing Contractor
If you want to take the hassle and stress out of getting rid of an ice dam, it is best to contact a professional roofing contractor. Most roofers will have professional equipment and the skills needed to remove the ice dam successfully.
Usually, the roofer will first remove excess snow from your roof and then steam or warm up the ice dam to help melt the ice. Certain areas might require chipping as well. This process can sometimes take longer, but at least you know that the ice removal will be done correctly and without putting yourself in danger.
Prevent Ice Dams From Forming in the Future
There are various ways to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof. Removing the snow from your roof before an ice dam gets a chance to start forming is a good maintenance preventative, but it is not a long-term solution.
For a more permanent solution, one can make adjustments inside the home or install snow melting products on the roof.
For instance, adding roof and attic insulation is one of the best preventative, long-term solutions, as well as installing roof heating cables on top of the roof to help melt the excess snow. Another way to prevent an ice dam on the roof is by improving the ventilation in the attic.
The best ice dam prevention for your roof will depend on your specific situation, as factors inside the home and on the roof might play a role. Therefore, it is best to have a professional roofer assess your roof before the winter kicks in to ensure that the right actions are taken to prevent ice dam formation on your roof.
Getting rid of an ice dam on the roof during the winter can be very time consuming and costly. Additionally, an ice dam on the roof can lead to other major roof issues if not taken care of on time. Therefore, it is best to talk to a professional roofer if ice dams are something you need to deal with every year and try to prevent them altogether
A professional residential roofing contractor in Jackson, TN will be able to give you the best long-term solution for your home and help you get rid of ice dams forever.