Ice dams are signs that the insulation in your home is feeble and could also cause structural damage to your home.
Even our best efforts to prevent ice dams may prove to be useless if the weather dictates it so. An ice dam is a sign that heat is escaping your home and may also be a sign that your home’s structural integrity is weakening. Knowing what an ice dam is and knowing how to identify and remove one is important in protecting your home from potential damage during the winter months.
What is an ice dam? Ice dams form when snow piles up on your roof, and the poor insulation in your attic allows for heat to escape. The heat melts the snow and runs down your roof into your gutter. The snowmelt gets trapped in your gutters, freezes, and forms a dam of ice. This allows for additional snowmelt to build up on your roof, which could leak into your home and cause structural damage.
How does one remove an ice dam? Using calcium chloride (CaCl2) is a great way in melting the ice.
1. Using a roof rake, remove about three to four feet of snow behind the dam.
2. Use calcium chloride to melt the ice. You can purchase this chemical from your local hardware store. Rock salt or sodium chloride can damage your roof!
3. Fill a nylon stocking with the CaCl2 ice melt.
4. Place the CaCl2 nylon stocking vertically across the ice dam to allow it to melt through the ice. The CaCl2 changes the composition of water, lowering its freezing temperature, and allowing it to flow through your gutter.