Tips to Easily Identify an Ice Dam on Your Home's Roof

Tips to Easily Identify an Ice Dam on Your Home’s Roof

August 30, 2019

Do you know what an ice dam is? If you’re new to colder climes, like those in Michigan, keep them on your radar. Knowing what they are, how to spot them and how to remove them will help protect your roof all winter long. If you’re not able to remove an ice dam yourself, be sure to call your favorite honest general contractors in Traverse City, MI. They’ll be happy to help protect your roof and take care of any other repairs you need.

Ice dams occur when melting snow freezes at the edge of your roof. If they’re big enough, they can prevent the rest of the water from melting snow from draining off your roof, which can cause major problems, like rot, mold and warping. If there’s one thing you need to know about roofs, it’s that gutters and flashing are designed to divert water off your roof and away from your foundation. When that doesn’t happen, you might find yourself facing some expensive roofing problems.

Here’s what you need to know to identify and deal with an ice dam.

Finding an ice dam

Ice dams most often form at the edge of your roof, but they can occur anywhere. One good way to find others is to study the icicle formation on your roof. If they’re only around the gutters, there’s a good chance you don’t have an ice dam. (Make sure to remove them whenever possible, as they can actually pose a danger if they fall.)

Another way is to look for water damage or moisture on your interior walls and ceilings, since melting snow will seep into your roof and eventually damage your home, just as if there were a hole in the roof. Look for telltale water spots, soft areas in the ceiling or even water dripping through. If you notice any of these problems, call a contractor immediately.

Removing an ice dam

You can remove an ice dam yourself, although we always recommend working with a contractor whenever possible. First, you’ll remove the snow from your roof with a roof rake—aim for about three to four feet from the edge, and make sure you don’t damage any plants or landscaping with falling snow. (Protect your plants and grass under the ice dam area by putting down tarps.)

Next, get a calcium chloride ice melting product from your local home improvement store. Stick that in a stocking or nylon netting, and lay it vertically across the ice dam. The chemicals will melt through the ice. This will make it possible for more snow to melt and run off into your gutters, rather than seeping through your roof. The tarps will help protect your greenery from the harsh chemicals.

If you have ice dams on your roof, but can’t or simply don’t want to remove them yourself, not to worry—the honest Traverse City, MI general contractors at Qualified Roofing will be happy to help. Give us a call today to learn more about our services.

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