The rising warmth within a house causes snow on the roof to melt, leading to the formation of ice dams as the water refreezes near the gutters due to external cold temperatures. Recognizing these icy spots on your roof is crucial, requiring swift removal to prevent potential structural damage. We can help you understand how to de-ice a roof.
Continued ice buildup might strain or break the gutter system due to added weight. Additionally, the trapped ice creates avenues for water to accumulate beneath the shingles, potentially causing degradation of the roof decking or leading to internal leaks. Despite the initial inclination to dislodge the ice with forceful tools like hammers or picks, this approach risks damaging the shingles, reducing their durability and making them susceptible to cracking, enabling water infiltration.
Using ice-melting chemicals on the ice dams isn’t really advisable either, as these substances can compromise the integrity of the shingles and other roofing materials, eventually allowing water to seep into the home. As a homeowner, you have a few options to address ice dams. However, ensure safety when working on a ladder. Ideally, addressing the root cause of the ice dams is crucial, but in the interim, halting ice accumulation remains a priority.
Using a Snow Rake
- A snow rake, equipped with a lengthy handle and small wheels on the blade, is utilized from ground level.
- Position yourself away from the house and hoist the roof rake onto the roof.
- Adjust its placement a few feet away from the roof’s edge based on snow depth; for deep snow, rake smaller sections (1 or 2 feet at a time), whereas with shallow snow, you may clear 3 or 4 feet in one stroke.
- Gently pull the rake towards yourself, removing snow from the edge while using its wheels to maintain a thin layer on the roof, preventing direct scraping of the shingles.
- Mastering snow raking is integral to understanding ice dam removal since it eliminates the snow supplying melted water to the ice dam.
- Consider raking the snow post-hot water ice dam removal to prevent its recurrence.
- Conducting snow raking following heavy snowfall serves as a preventive measure.
- After a fresh snowfall, use the rake on your roof to reduce melted water accumulation.
Using Hot Water
- Having a utility sink with a threaded faucet enables you to supply hot water to your roof, which is among the quickest ways to eliminate ice dams.
- Attach a garden hose to the threaded faucet.
- Extend the garden hose to the area of the ice dam.
- Securely position a ladder against the roof to ensure stability.
- Activate the hot water source.
- Ascend the ladder with the hose and direct it onto the roof.
- Apply hot water to the ice until it dissolves.
- This may only be a short-term solution to a larger issue.