How to remove ice dams from your roof.

Worried about ice weighing your gutters down and pulling them away from your roof? Read on…

Ice usually tends to collect on some roofs near the edges. There are things that you should address to determine the underlying cause of the ice dam, but you should also get the current ice dam removed. If you leave an ice dam on the roof it can cause you to develop a leak. You must also use caution when removing an ice dam as well because you can damage the roofing system. 

Here are some of the best ways to get rid of ice dams

You can temporarily get rid of ice dams by melting them away. Here are 3 safe ways your Roofing Professional can remove an ice dam from your roof: 

1. Use hot water: Running hot water over the ice dam, gently, this will melt it and allow the water to drain out through the gutters. 

2. Install heat cable: Heat cables can be installed on your roof in the summertime which will then be there for when cold weather and ice arise. Your roofing professional can recommend either a permanent or temporary installation one of which will solve your problem. Roofers also may use heat cables to prevent ice dams from forming and drainpipes from freezing on commercial roofs. 

3. Remove snow: If the weather is going to get warmer and the snow is starting to melt your roofing professional may choose to remove the rest of the snow/ice from the roof. If the snow and ice is not removed the sun melting the ice and snow could cause another ice dam when it refreezes in the eaves. The NRCA does recommend that some snow be left on the roof to prevent damage to the roofing material, that way the roof shovel does not come in direct contact with the materials. Please remember that only a professional can safely remove snow from the roof with a shovel and they must exercise a lot of caution to prevent damage.  

It is always best to contact a roofing professional for roofing issues but if you are unable to do so and would like to tackle the project yourself, here are some tools you would need to remove the ice dams yourself:

  • Ladder
  • Garden Hose

Make sure that your ladder is securely placed to prevent slipping. You will need to make sure that you have warm/hot water coming from your hose to let it run over the frozen area. 

It is NEVER a good idea to use a pick or other tool to chip the ice away. This may remove the ice but could result in damaged roofing and or gutters. You should also avoid using any type of chemicals to remove the ice. This can also have a negative effect on roofing shingles especially and can actually void your manufacture warranty. (If applicable) 

Prevent ice dams permanently by calling your Roofing Professional and have them assess your roof to find the root cause of the ice damming and make any necessary corrections. Proper ventilation as well as regular gutter maintenance can help prevent ice damming.  

Need help with your ice dams?

Call Middle Creek Roofing at 1-717-949-2414 and have one of our Roof Technicians come out and take a look at it for you! 

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