Ice Damming On Your Roofs This Winter

When you see ice dams on the roof, what is the first thing you do? Do you use hot water, or do you use heat cables installed on the roof of your house? There are different methods to remove unwanted ice staying on your roof. 

DNS Exterior is a home exterior company located in Lockport, Illinois. Our company ensures the best quality of service and that all roofs are properly installed. We can cater to everyone by letting our customers pick the roofing system they prefer. Aside from that, we consider our client’s budget and needs. Our company also offers other services in siding services and installing windows, gutters, and doors. Contact us at (815) 293-6311 and get your free estimate!

What Is Ice Damming?

An ice dam is a rim of ice that we see most of the time on the edge of a roof. This is a common event during the winter season. It happens when the snow on your roof melts by the warm air.  Ice dams prevent the snow from melting. An event like this prevents draining off the roof. If not given a solution immediately, it can cause damage to walls, ceilings, and other parts of the house. 

A nonuniform roof surface temperature usually causes ice dams. Factors like heat loss, snow cover, and the temperature outside also contribute to forming ice dams.

Ice Dam Removal
Ice Dam Removal

Removing Ice Damming On Your Roofs

Winter is the one season that everybody talks about. Some are excited, and some are anxious. Meanwhile, there are people who get ready to protect their houses from the posing dangers of the season. While winter may be a joyous season for most of us, it can also imply a risk for some of us. 

A shared struggle by most people during the winter season is ice damming. It is usually hard to get rid of them, especially when they get stuck on your roof and would not melt down. Others remove the current dam on the tops to prevent weariness. This decreases the possibility of any leakage in your house too.

There are three different methods you can choose from to get rid of ice dams.

  • Hot Water

One best way to gently remove an ice dam is through the use of hot water. Running hot water allows the ice dam to melt early. This is a good method if you want to drain the water out of the gutters.

  • Installing Heat Cables

Summertime is the perfect season for you to install that heating cable. So when the winter season comes, your heat cable will be the one to melt the ice for you. You may install this on your roof either for temporary or permanent purposes.

  • Removing Snow

If the season is about to change and you are aware that the ice on your roof will melt soon, you need to remove the snow on your roof. If you fail to remove this before a new season comes, the sun will do it for you. If it melts due to the sun’s heat, it will cause another ice dam.

If you are going to use a shovel to remove the snow on your roof, make sure to hire a professional. This job is only done by people who are given the license to use shovels on the roof. Hiring less-experienced roofers may cause you more inconvenience. They might remove the ice in a risky way. Their fees are usually cheaper but as a customer, always prioritize your safety inside and outside your home.

Ice Damming On Your Roof
Ice Damming On Your Roof

Avoiding Ice Dams In Winter

The ice dam removals are effective but temporary. The methods mentioned keep you away from damage, but this is not permanent. It is most likely that there will be a formation of new ice dams if these methods are of use. If you are looking forward to long-term solutions, the company that provides you with roof service must let you know about the problem. 

Most homeowners believe that the problem is due to poorly maintained gutters. The truth is ice damming is usually due to poor attic insulation. Proper insulation leads to good control of heat inside your home. It will also prevent the new formation of an ice dam.

Resolving a problem on ice damming does not happen in an instant. You may check for other issues that your roof is experiencing. These issues are also contributing factors in the formation of ice dams.

The following are issues you should check on your roof:

  • Ventilation

Running vents out in the walls of your home would be a great help to reduce the formation of ice dams.

  • Connection Points

The design and shape of your roof may affect the formation of an ice dam. If your upper roof plane drains on a lower and unheated roof plane, the formation of ice dams is possible. Companies with expertise in roof services can be of great help. As you pick a roof design, they will help you decide on a roof design that will prevent you from this type of incident.

  • Gutter Maintenance

While gutter maintenance may be a rare cause of ice dams, this still should be on your checklist. Clogged gutters still cause ice dams. It is important to have good maintenance on your gutters. Fall is ideal for cleaning your gutters and avoiding ice dam problems later.

Checking these factors may help you maintain your roof in its best condition. Common materials needed are a ladder and a garden hose. Of course, you should remember to hire your trusted roofing team.

It is a popular belief that ice melting with salt is one of the easiest ways to defrost the ice. However, there are several salts that may cause damage to your roof and gutters.

Rock Salt
Rock Salt
  • Rock Salt

This salt is used by many to melt the ice blocking the pathways in their residential areas. Many people use this as their first option when removing ice dams. They need to learn that rock salt is also composed of sodium chloride. This substance causes the destruction of metal. Metals are usually found on the nails that keep your shingles in place.

  • Table Salt

There is no massive difference from rock salt when it comes to table salt. They contain the same chemical substance. Table salt is still rock salt that is broken down into smaller pieces. It will still cause stains and destruction on metals.

  • Magnesium And Potassium Chloride

Both magnesium and potassium chloride can melt ice. Magnesium chloride only takes effect at a certain temperature. It should stay at 5 degrees and above Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, potassium chloride cannot dissolve a block of ice below 12 degrees of temperature.

  • Calcium Chloride

Many have proven magnesium chloride is the best salt when removing ice dams. Calcium chloride does not stain nor damage any metals. Yet, you must avoid them with wooden materials. This type of salt can melt the ice faster than sodium chloride does. The temperature needed for this type of salt is lower than what magnesium and potassium chloride requires.

Effects Of Ice Damming
Effects Of Ice Damming

What Are The Effects Of Ice Dams?

Did you know that extreme temperatures and sunlight can cause your roofs to have cracks and curl? It may also cause a split in shingles. In the worst-case scenario, ice dams may cause respiratory problems too. If the moisture formed from ice dams enters your home, this, later on, grows as mold and mildew. 

You may resolve this by finding a way to stop the growth of mold and mildew. You may do this by drying out particular areas in the house. Immediate action is important to get rid of the water formed in ice dams. Cleaning your site is a nice activity to reduce damage to specific areas of your house. This helps you maintain the air quality at your home too.

Removing ice dams can be a heavy task for most of us. The task may seem heavy and only possible if someone accompanies us. DNS Exterior provides the best roofing services in Lockport, Illinois. For an easier process, check our website for a free estimate today. We are more than willing to help you with your roof problems at a price you can afford.

Our hotlines are open from 8 AM-6 PM from Mondays to Saturdays and 9 AM-6 PM every Sunday. We accept bookings in both residential and commercial areas. Let our team provide both the beauty and safety that your roof needs. Let DNS Exterior provide safety as we prepare for another winter season.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Avoid Ice Dams?

You can avoid ice dams by reducing heat loss from home. Clear the snow from the roof. This removes one of the components required for the formation of an ice dam. You can use a “roof rake” and a push broom to remove snow, but they may damage the roofing materials.

Why Am I Getting Ice Dams?

Ice dams form when the air inside your attic is warmer than the outside temperature. The snow on your roof melts and flows down to the gutters, where the temperature is equal to the outside air, and the water refreezes. Clogged gutters can quickly exacerbate the ice buildup.

How Can I Prevent Ice Buildup On My Roof?

Keep the entire roof at the same temperature as the eaves. You accomplish this by increasing ventilation, adding insulation, and sealing off any air leaks that could warm the underside of the roof.

How Do Professionals Remove Ice Dams?

The roofing professional will first shovel snow off the roof before running steam through the ice dam to help it melt. The employee may also chip away at the dam until the roof is free of ice.