During the spring and summer, winter is the last thing on our minds, which means most of us have to face ice dams head-on once the snow starts to fall. As expected, options are limited when you wait until the last minute. However, there are still effective ways you can beat those ice dams!
Act fast during heavy snowfall. Ice dams occur quickly after heavy snow, so you should respond quickly. If you don’t have a roof rake yet, the time has come to get one! Using this handy tool, you can remove at least the lower four feet of snow from the roof edge, which will be helpful in preventing the ice dams from forming. It has a handle around 20 feet long and looks like a shovel turned on its side. You are able to safely pull snow from the roof while staying on the ground instead of a ladder.
Try an ice melting product. If you notice an ice dam already starting to form, you can put a calcium chloride or similar product on the ice. Be careful if you are on a ladder when applying the product directly on the ice. Snowy and icy conditions on a ladder presents a slipping hazard.
Professional removal. If you would rather avoid the risk of trying to remove the ice dam yourself, or if the ice dams have formed beyond your repair, contact a professional. They have professional equipment and know how to do the job safely. It will cost you more, but it will be well worth the protection from further damage to your home.
No matter which method you choose, be sure to avoid trying any of the following:
- A hatchet or an axe
- An ice pick or hammer and chisel
- A propane torch or heat gun
- A chainsaw
Courtesy of About.com Home Repair