Dams are not just for rivers any more…

Here in Indiana we are actually having an Indiana winter as opposed to last year where we experienced the mildest of winters possible for Indiana.  With the snow, ice, and cold temperatures come problems for many property owners.  One of the biggest problems is Ice Dams on the roofs of homes building.

Ice build up on slate roof

Ice dams are formed by the snow melting and then refreezing at the edge of the roof creating a “dam.”  The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.  Moisture entering the home from ice dams can also lead to the growth of mold and mildew.

The damage can be minor or major depending on the size of the dam; however, it is best to get the possible dams removed as quickly as possible.

Below are a few ideas to prevent the ice dams from damaging your property:

  1.  Attempt to remove snow from your roof if it can be done safely.  A few tools to assist in this are roof rakes and push brooms but do so carefully so you do not damage the shingles below.  If you cannot get it done safely then call a contractor to assist in eliminating the ice dams.
  2. Fill an old pair of pantyhose with calcium chloride snow melt and toss across the dam.  This will help melt the dam and also keep the area clear of future ice.  DO NOT USE ROCK SALT!  It will stain your roof and siding.  This is a good solution for small dams.  If it is too big you may just create more of a problem.
  3. Chisel grooves in the dam to allow the water to behind it drain off.  This is an emergency option if more rain or a sudden thawing is expected.  Be cautious to not damage you shingles.

If you have already noticed damage in your home feel free to give us a call.  The best option is to get the leaking stopped as quickly as possible and get everything dry to prevent any mold or mildew growth.  Many times if it is caught earlier enough the damage can be fixed at less than most deductibles.  Early detection and action are always the best case scenario.