Preventing & Handling Ice Dams
In the winter, ice forms on the ground making for slippery and dangerous conditions. What people tend to forget though is that that ice forms in other places too, like the edges of rooftops. Ridges of ice form on the edges, forming what are called ice dams.
Cold temperatures will freeze the water along the edge of the roof to form and sustain the ice dams. However, on some homes the roof will be warmer in certain areas (generally due to chimneys, heat from the house, and exhaust systems). This will melt the snow from the top of the roof but not the edges. When the water pools above the ridge, it can cause the roof to leak, and in severe cases can cause it to collapse. Although you can’t control the weather or the temperature, there are ways you can handle and prevent ice dams.
- Remove snow from the roof using a "roof rake" and push broom.
- If water is already flowing into the building, a temporary solution is making channels through the lower edge of the dam. This will allow the dam to drain some of the water
- Prevent ice dams by making the ceiling air tight so no warm air can melt snow at the higher part of the roof.
- Increase the ceiling/roof insulation to reduce heat loss.
- Use a natural roof ventilation system.
- Make sure that once heat on the roof is reduced that you keep an eye on how much snow is being collected.
Ice dams can be prevented and damages from them can be fixed, but it is important to know the risks of handling them yourself. Don’t risk your home or your safety; hire a professional to deal with the situation for you.
Information retrieved from https://extension.umn.edu/protecting-home-rain-and-ice/dealing-and-preventing-ice-dams
If you end up with damages from an ice dam this winter, be sure to call SERVPRO of Peoria for the cleaning and restoration of your home and its contents at (309) 637-7300.