Ice dams on edge of roof

Icicles hanging from your home may appear beautiful as they glisten in the sunlight, but they can create problems for your roof, gutters and attic. This buildup can lead to what is called an ice dam. 

An ice dam forms along the bottom edge of the roof. The heated attic causes snow on the roof to melt, and once it trickles down to the cold overhang, it freezes. Over time, a block of ice forms in the gutters and on the roof, forcing up water from continued snow melt under the shingles and into the attic.

Quick Fixes for Ice Dams:

  • Stop snow from melting by pointing a fan towards the area near the ice dam inside the attic.
  • Use a roof rake to pull snow off the roof to bring up the temperature. This will not damage your shingles and keeps you safely on the ground.
  • DO NOT use a hammer, chisel, chainsaw or shovel to break up the ice dam. These actions are dangerous and can damage your roofing.
  • DO NOT throw salt directly onto your roof to break up the ice dam. It can hurt your grass and soil. Instead, fill an old sock with the salt and throw it up onto the ice dam.

Permanent Fixes for Ice Dams:

  • Install a ridge vent to circulate cold air underneath the roof to keep it from melting snow.
  • Install heated cables in a zigzag formation along the edge of the roof right above the gutters. This will warm the overhang and prevent ice from forming.
  • Add additional insulation to the floor of the attic to keep the warm air from reaching the roof.
  • Seal areas inside the attic where heat can escape such as ducts, vents, electrical cables, an attic hatch, chimney or whole-house fan.

These permanent fixes may also reduce your energy bill.

If ice dams have affected your home, contact CREW today. Our team of experienced roofing professionals in Sioux Falls, SD will assess the damage to the structure, shingles, gutters and siding and help you get your roof repaired quickly.

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