What You Need to Know About Ice Dams
Look for these telltale signs to see if an ice dam is forming on your roof:
Icicles: Icicles have a sort of majestic quality to them. They have become an indicator of the winter season and share the same serenity that silent snowfall is known for. Unfortunately, icicles are also a potential sign of severe damage to your home’s walls and ceilings. If icicles are coming out of your gutter, this is a sign that water backed up in your gutters and froze. It is imperative that you take care of backed up ice as soon as possible before they grow behind the gutter and out of your soffit vents. If ice dams are left unchecked, icicles can spread to the outer walls and windows of your home and damage them.
Peeling Paint: If you see paint peeling inside your home, particularly where the wall meets the ceiling, you may already have water damage. Water creates perfect breeding conditions for mold both on the outer surface and within the walls of your home. If left unchecked, the water can begin to flow through the wall and icicles may form on window sills or even on the outer wall on your home.
The only correct way to deal with an ice dam is hiring a professional. Hiring a professional to get rid of it for you is the best way to take care of these ice dams. These professionals use powerful steamers to melt through ice dams without damaging your roof. Unfortunately, they do cost money, but not nearly as much as it would cost to replace your walls and attic. We recommend this as your best option.
Home Remedies can be unhelpful, such as the following:
Salt-filled Pantyhose: A common suggestion we see on the internet is to fill pantyhose with salt and toss it up onto your roof. The idea is the pantyhose, laid perpendicularly across the dam, will create an ice melting channel. This will allow meltwater from the roof to flow through the gutter without issue. Unfortunately, salt can corrode your shingles and take a while to be effective, which will give your ice dam more time to spread.
Ice Melting Tablets: There are a few companies out there that make ice melting tablets. These tablets are designed to be tossed up onto your roof. Once there they melt down, taking out the ice beneath it as it does. They don’t get rid of the ice dam as a whole, they just make it so that water can flow freely underneath the dam and drain away. Unfortunately, once the mixture drains away, the water will freeze again and you’ll be back at square one. Additionally, tossing them up there and getting them in the perfect position to melt the ice can be quite a hassle.