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As winter drags on, temperatures drop and what was snow might now be ice; this spells trouble for your roof. Should you wait a couple more months for the weather to be nice enough for you to de-ice your roof or should you take care of it sooner? Waiting a couple months to fix your roof might make maintenance easier for you, but your roof’s current ice dams could cause more costly damage to your roof.

Ice Damage & Cause

In previous years we discussed how snow and ice damage your roof and how to avoid ice dams from forming on your roof. Ice dams are caused when snow melts, flows down your roof, and freezes at the edge of your roof. Upon freezing, an ice dam is created which can cause water to back up on your roof and leak into your house.

The two common causes of ice dams are poor attic insulation and lack of proper roof ventilation. Poor attic insulation allows heat in your house to escape and melt the snow on your roof. Good roof ventilation helps heat release in appropriate areas of your home; insufficient ventilation traps heat, melts snow, and potentially blocks your roof’s drainage system.

Removal by Snow Rake

A snow rake is long aluminum hoe that is used to rake snow off roofs. Snow rakes can be very helpful tools for removing snow from roofs, but the user must be extra safe and careful when using on their roof. If the user is careless and the rake hooks onto a piece of flashing or a loose shingle, the roof could be damaged.

Removal by Steam or Hot Water

Using hot water or steam is a temporary solution to your roof’s ice dam issue. For the hot water method, you will need to fill a spray bottle with hot water and spray it directly on ice formations until it melts (this method may not work well if your roof isn’t easily accessible). When using hot water or steam, it’s important to remove one large chunk of ice at a time, while carefully separating it from the shingles and pushing it off the roof. Removal by steam tends to work significantly better than hot water, because the steam is a much higher temperature, it removes ice faster that the water, and steam won’t leak into your house in case the ice dam has already caused an opening in your roof.

Removal by Fan

Fans are mostly used for homeowners already experiencing leaks from an ice dam buildup. If you can access your attic, place a fan at the underside of your roof where water is actively leaking in and where the ice dam is concentrated. The air from the fan will melt the ice on your roof and let water flow directly onto your gutters.

Removal by Professional

At Exterior Remodel & Design, our professional roofers have worked on a wide variety of roofs. They have the knowledge and experience to understand your ice-cold roofing problems, will determine the best solutions for you, and implement those solutions for the most efficient and effective results. Even if you know how to de-ice your roof, it’s still important to get help from experts. Contact a member of our team at (402) 861-0000, by contact form, or on our Facebook page.