3 Unique Challenges When Dealing with Ice Dams

3 Unique Challenges When Dealing with Ice Dams
  • Opening Intro -

    While ice dams are a very common problem throughout the winter season, they may pose a bigger risk than many homeowners might realize.


These dams form once enough heat from within the home escapes through the roof to begin melting snow and ice, meltwater then trickles down to the eaves and gutters before refreezing. From trying to navigate a slippery roof to sourcing the special equipment needed to remove the ice without causing further structural damage, there are a number of unique challenges that must be overcome in order to deal with ice dams effectively.

Lack of Traction

Safety should always be the number one priority when conducting any home repairs or maintenance tasks. Falling off a roof can easily result in serious injury and trying to make your way across a roof that is covered with snow and ice could prove to be far more difficult than you might imagine. Lacking the safety equipment and experience needed to work on a roof or gutter during the winter months can be a major liability.

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Identifying Damage to Shingles or Gutters

Performing a full assessment of the roof and inspecting the materials for any signs of wear or damage often requires a trained eye. Arranging for a roofing contractor to deal with an ice dam means that a comprehensive inspection can be performed. Failing to identify and address any issues with the gutters, drains, shingles, or load bearing roof supports could find you faced with additional problems as well as higher repair costs.

Access to the Right Tools and Equipment

Trying to chip away at an ice dam using the wrong tools may prove to be little more than a waste of time and effort. Trying to melt through the dam with rock salt, hot water or other methods could end up damaging the roof or making the problem worse. Calling in the professionals to deal with the situation eliminates the need to purchase tools or source additional equipment.

Seasonal Roof Maintenance

Keeping your roof in good shape can spare you from having to deal with additional repair costs or having to replace your installation prematurely. The weight of snow, ice damns or even fallen branches can place considerable strain on your roof.

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While routine repairs may involve a number of unique challenges during the winter months, choosing to neglect basic maintenance and upkeep could wind up being a very costly mistake. Calling in the professionals to deal with an ice dam or similar problem is often the best way to approach the situation.

Ice dams are not only dangerous to your home, but to your safety. They can grow to become very big and heavy. Since there is no control on when they will fall it can become a health hazard as they can crush a small dog and cause damage to a person.

When the ice drips it can melt and freeze on the pavement causing a slip and fall risk that can land you in the hospital. Ice dams are both a property damage hazard and a health issue.

Image credit: roof ice dams by Pixabay

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Categories: Roofing and Gutters

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