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Easy ways to deal with ice damming


Ice Dams are hazardous to your roof as they can damage your gutters, ceilings and roof. If you have reason to believe that an ice dam has formed on your roof, continue reading to discover how ice dams are formed, how to correctly identify an ice dam, how to prevent ice dams from forming and most importantly, how to get rid of an ice dam.

How are ice dams formed?

Ice Dams are formed when a layer of snow builds up on a roof which has a surface temperature of approximately 32 degrees Fahrenheit at it’s highest point and a surface temperature below 32 degrees at it’s lowest point. As a result of heat rising through the ceiling of a house, the snow which has piled up on the highest point of the roof will melt and flow down to the lowest point of the roof, where it will freeze and turn into a dam, due to the change in roof temperature.

How are ice dams hazardous to your roof? Ice Dams are hazardous to your roof as an ice dam will grow as snow is trapped above it. Eventually this snow will melt and won’t be able to flow off your roof as it will be trapped by the ice dam. As a result the water which builds up may start leaking into your home.

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How to identify an ice dam:

If there is an ice glacier forming in your gutter, or you can spot large icicles hanging down from your gutter, there is a high chance that an ice dam may have formed on your roof.

How to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof:

1. Remove excess snow from your roof

Purchase an inexpensive roof rake and use it to remove any excess snow which may build up on your roof during the winter months.

2. Address your home’s ventilation issues

Ice Dams are a result of a poorly ventilated home. If you’ve had an ice dam form on your roof in the past, it is well worth calling a ventilation specialist to address your home’s ventilation issues.

3. Ensure that your ceiling is air tight

Your ceiling should be air tight as any air which escapes into your attic space can result in the formation of an ice dam.

How to get rid of an ice dam:

Whatever you do don’t hack away at an ice dam with a pick axe as doing so can damage your roof. Instead try one of the methods below.

1. Try using roof melt tablets

A variety of companies sell roof melt tablets which are designed to be thrown on top of your roof. The tablets will then melt through your ice dam and allow for the water which built up inside your ice dam to drain off your roof. One of the advantages of this particular method is that it doesn’t require you to climb up onto your roof.

2. Call a professional

Kulp Construction can safely help you address any ice damming issues and keep you leak free.  If you have an issue or are unsure be sure to give us a call for a free consultation.