After three winter storms in less than a week, you may be noticing some pretty large snow piles on the roof of your home. With a slight warm up in temperature coming mid-week, now is the time to remove snow in order to prevent the buildup of ice dams – and potential damage to your home.
As you may recall from our winter in 2015, ice dams can be very destructive as the water from melting snow backs up behind the dam and leaks into your home underneath the shingles.
There are two basic approaches to help you prevent damage to your home from ice dams:
1. Remove snow and ice from your roof.
The safest way to clear your roof is to hire a snow removal professional. However, if you plan to do it yourself, follow these recommendations from roofing experts:
• Use a roof rake instead of a shovel
• Try not to damage your shingles
• Avoid standing under icicles or roofs with large amounts of snow
• Use extreme caution when using ladders because rungs become very slippery
• Keep tools away from electrical wires
• Have someone nearby in case you need assistance
2. Create channels to help melt ice.
• If you notice an ice buildup, fill a large sock with a melting agent (preferably calcium chloride) and lay it across the dam perpendicular to the gutter
• The sock will release the melting agent gradually and create a channel in the ice for water to empty through
• You may need several socks for an ice dam that runs the length of your roof
What if water is dripping inside my home?
If you notice leaks in your home, it’s important to do what you can to mitigate the damage:
• Collect the dripping water in buckets and pans
• Mop up standing water
• Move furniture, clothes and valuables out of harm’s way
• Call a professional to deal with the snow on the roof and to dry out your house