Everything You Need to Know About Ice Dams

Out of all of the problems that plague a homeowner during the winter, ice dams just might be the worst. They’re common, remarkably stubborn, and they can do massive damage to your Columbus home and roof. But what is an ice dam exactly, and how does it form? And more importantly, what can you do about them? To you, the team at APCO says: know your enemy.

Is your roof experiencing frequent ice dams? If so, it may be time to repair or replace it! Contact the professionals at APCO online to learn more, or to schedule a consultation with our certified roofing team!

What Is an Ice Dam?

An ice dam is a stubborn formation of ice that collects along the eaves of your roof. These build over a short period of time into, as the name suggests, a dam that prevents water from precipitation from running off of your roof as it should.

Ice dams most frequently come as a result of the roof of your home being warmer than the eaves (the part of your roof that overhangs the home). This warmth melts snow, and the resulting water runs down to the eaves, where it is cold enough to freeze again. And freeze it does. Over time this process repeats, until an ice dam is formed.

Are Ice Dams Bad for My Roof?

Absolutely! The weight of the dam itself is risk enough, as it commonly results in gutter damage, or even completely dislodged gutters. But the bigger issue is actually the “dam” part. When the dam gets big enough, it will totally block the melted snow from exiting your roof, trapping what is eventually a large puddle of water on your roof. This puddle will begin intruding on your home, resulting in considerable roof and home water damage.

How Do I Get Rid of Ice Dams in Columbus?

The best solution is to never get them in the first place. With the right amount of roof insulation and proper ridge ventilation, a healthy roof shouldn’t ever really form ice dams—or it should at least be very rare.

But if you’ve already got ice dams, you have a couple quick temporary options until you get some roofing service:

  1. Carefully remove the ice dams manually. This is an arduous and risky path, and we don’t really recommend it. Forcibly removing the dams with a tool can do serious damage to the roof, and can leave you with busted gutters to boot. Better would be to remove the snow on your roof with a roof rake or similar tool, which will stop the risk of pooling water and water intrusion.
  2. Attempt to melt the ice dams with calcium chloride. This handy dandy product is sold in stores nationwide when winter hits. It’s safe to use, and easy, too. Apply it to the back of the ice dam (the side facing the roof) so that incoming water will generate a salty puddle that will erode the ice dam naturally end safely.
  3. Call in the experts. Roofing professionals like the team at APCO tend to provide wintertime ice dam services that include ice dam prevention and removal. Our experts, for example, perform a comprehensive analysis of your home and find the best ways to prevent dams from ever occurring!

Professional Roofing Care in Ohio with APCO

Is your roof healthy enough to take on (or better yet prevent) ice dams, and the damage they cause? If not, or if you’re unsure, get in touch with our roofing professionals by contacting us online today!

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