Ice Dams and How to Remove Them to Avoid Costly Roofing Repairs in Traverse City, MI

Ice Dams and How to Remove Them to Avoid Costly Roofing Repairs in Traverse City, MI

January 17, 2018

Winter is here, which means ice dams and roof leaks are ready to rear their ugly heads. So, what can a homeowner do to avoid roof damage and other roofing issues this winter? If you live in an area of the country that sees bitter cold and icy winters, then you know the importance of preventing and removing ice dams from the edges of your home’s roof. For homeowners new to having to deal with ice dams or those looking for ways to deal with the ice, the following information is for you!

Here’s an overview of ice dams and how to remove them to avoid costly roofing repairs in Traverse City, MI.

What is an ice dam?

An ice dam forms when water from melting snow freezes at the edge of a roofline. It’s typically a thick band of ice that prevents melting snow and water from draining off the roof properly. If the water cannot drain, it will back up onto the roof or underneath shingles, which is how roof leaks start, causing damage to roofing materials, ceilings, walls and insulation. Preparation is key, and knowing what to look for is important.

Ways to prevent and remove ice dams

Shoveling snow off a roof should be done ahead of time to prevent ice from forming. If you already have leaks due to ice dams, the ice needs to be broken off to stop it. Don’t ignore leaks—if you have this issue now and don’t fix it, you will have it again in the future. Note that a roof should be able to sustain ice dams and a water shield, unless you live in a doublewide manufactured home. If you encounter ice dams, here’s what to do:

  • Use a roof rake: Removing snow from your roof before it can melt and freeze again is the best way to prevent ice dam formation. While standing on the ground, use a roof rake—a flat shovel attached to a long pole—to pull snow off your roof. Keep in mind that fresh snow is much easier to remove than hardened snow.
  • Install an ice elimination system: Contact Qualified Roofing about custom designing and installing a heated gutter system or an ice elimination system for your roof. These can protect your home from ice dams and related roof leaks.
  • Chip away: If you do get ice dams, get ready to chip away at them. This is effective, but you should also take measures to prevent damaging your roof with your chosen hammering tool. For example, in most cases, it’s safer to use an ice pick over a metal hammer or hatchet.

Ice dams can form slowly, and usually unexpectedly when you don’t know what to look for. Left unchecked, melting ice can seep into your home, causing all sorts of expensive damage. Whether you are interested in installing an ice elimination system or need roofing repairs in Traverse City, MI, don’t hesitate to contact the skilled team at Qualified Roofing. Call us to schedule a free consultation this winter!

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