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Different Ice Dam Removal Methods: Their Pros and Cons

Shovel on a roof with snow

The winter season can cause several problems to your roof, especially ice dams. They can be a bit difficult to remove and can cause damage to your home if not done properly. If you’re looking to learn how to get rid of that ice dam on your roof and gutters, some of the most common methods are shared below. As a roofing and siding contractor, we’ve also explained how each method works along with its pros and cons: 

Method 1: Chip the Ice Dam Off

Ice dams are mainly caused by the hot air in your home rising through the roof. The heat melts the snow on the roof surface and makes it slide down until it reaches the cold, unheated eaves and edges of your roof. This is where it refreezes under shingles and around your gutter. 

While ice picks or awls are recommended for the task, you can also use a hatchet or a crowbar. You’ll need a ladder if you want to reach the gutters properly and chip away at the ice buildup. The process can be a bit tricky as one wrong hit and you can damage your gutters or roof! You won’t need to remove all the ice, but you still need to do this carefully.

Method 2: Warm Water

Spraying warm water on the ice dam is another effective method, though it’s more of a temporary solution. You can pour some warmer water onto a spraying device that you have lying around your home. Keep in mind that it will only loosen the ice, which means you can do this to make it easier to chip them away.

Preventing Future Ice Dams

  • Blowing Cold Air Through Your Attic – As a trusted name in exterior deck and additions, we suggest this as a safe and effective way to prevent ice dams. Pointing fans directly at your roof helps cool down the underside of the roof so that snow won’t melt in the first place and keep the ice dams from forming!
  • Rake the Snow Off – It also helps in preventing future ice dams if you get rid of the snow accumulating on your roof. Make sure to use a shovel or rake that’s specially made to take snow off of roofs to clear the snow off properly. Compared to using fans in your attic, this will require more manual labor, but this helps prevent ice dams even before giving the snow a chance to melt!

Whether it’s quality roofing or kitchen and bathroom remodeling, Villwell Builders, LLC always gets the job done right! Just call (475) 271-1242 or fill out our convenient contact form to get started. 

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