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Ice tends to collect on some roofs near the edges. While you can, and should, address the underlying cause of the ice dam, you should also seek to remove the current dam from the roof. Otherwise, it may wear on the roof and increase your likelihood of developing a leak.
The longer the ice dam remains, the higher the risk you take. However, you also must be careful about how you remove the ice dam, as certain methods may damage the roof. We’ll guide you through the ice dam removal process, revealing which methods are safe for your roofer to try, and which methods should not be attempted at all.
You can temporarily get rid of ice dams by melting them away. There are four safe ways your roofing professional can remove an ice dam from your roof:
While it’s always best to consult with a professional roofer about how best to remove your ice dam, there are some less-experienced roofers or general contractors who may attempt to remove ice in an unsafe way. It is important for you to be educated about how a professional should remove ice safely, so that you can protect your investment in your roof. Here’s a guide explaining how a professional can safely remove ice dams with hot water.
Tools you’ll need include:
Steps you’ll need to take are as follows:
There are many incorrect ways to remove ice from your roof that will damage your asphalt shingles and compromise your roof’s water-shedding ability. Protect your roof and home, and keep your limited warranty valid by asking your roofer to avoid these risky ice-removal methods:
These ice dam removal methods are all temporary. They can help your roof avoid damage in the short term, but they won’t stop another ice dam from forming. In order to resolve your ice dam problem for the long run, your roofers need to address the underlying issue that is causing the ice dam to form. While many homeowners believe that the real problem is poorly maintained gutters, this is rarely the case. Most commonly, the underlying issue is inadequate attic insulation.
Work with your roofing professional to discover what kind of insulation you have and whether it needs to be replaced with a more effective type of attic insulation. Better insulation will prevent the home’s heat from reaching your shingles. Therefore, the snow on the shingles will likely not melt or be able to refreeze as an ice dam.
Other roof issues may be contributing to the formation of ice dams on your roof. While fixing these problems will not typically resolve the ice dam by themselves, they may help reduce the severity. They will also help keep your roof in better condition in general. These contributing factors may include:
There is also a way to protect your roof and home from damage from any potential ice dams that might develop. Installing ice and water protector is often required by building codes because it offers your roof extra protection.
Ice dams should always be removed by professionals who understand winter roof safety and how to protect the shingles from further damage. Plus, once they have removed your current ice dam, they will need to address the underlying cause before another ice dam occurs. If you need to reach out to a professional, consider IKO’s Contractor Locator, which may suggest roofers right in your area.
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