How to Prevent Ice Dams from Damaging Your Home or Business
If your home or business has a leaking roof, it could be due to ice dams. Ice dams form when melting snow slides down to the edge of your roof in the warmth of the day and then freezes again when temperatures plummet at night. When the water freezes in creates a ridge at the edge of your roof. The ridge blocks other melting ice and snow from draining off the roof. The ice dam causes water to backup that can leak into your home. Sometimes, water leaks underneath shingles on the roof and refreezing, causing roof damage. The water can also cause leaking in your roof, ceilings, and walls. If left unattended, the moisture can create mold and mildew growth and structural damage.
Paul, a Riverside Restoration customer from Westport, CT, had water damage on his commercial property that was caused by ice dams on the roof of his building:
CALEB: This is Caleb Wright with Riverside Restoration. I’m here with Paul. What made you decide to call Riverside Restoration?
PAUL: We had a significant loss as a result of an ice dam on the roof. We gave them a call and straight away he was up to speed with what we needed to do and came out straight away.
CALEB: How well did Riverside Restoration work your insurance carrier?
PAUL: It was seamless for me. I am a busy guy with a busy family, with three young kids, a rental property, and all the responsibility with that. Trying to work out the tenants’ schedule and dealing with the insurance company and stuff like that. And I just let Caleb do what he does and everything turned out great. So we worked really well and really appreciate that.
CALEB: Would you recommend Riverside Restoration to your family and friends?
PAUL: Absolutely 100% would recommend them. Great experience, great working with them. Hopefully I don’t have to work with them again.
Ice Dam Prevention Checklist
Although it’s great to have a water damage restoration company who can help you repair the damage from ice dams, it’s important to know how to avoid ice dams from forming. Follow these tips to avoid water damage and flooding in your home or building.
- Consider insulating your attic. Ice dams tend to form on the roof when the melting snow comes into contact with varying temperatures. When temperatures near the top of the roof are above freezing (because heat rises) and the temperature near the bottom is below freezing, then the snow will melt, slide down and refreeze at the bottoms part of the roof. You can help maintain colder temperatures near the top points of your roof by adding insulation to your attic, lessening the amount of warm air escaping from the attic as it rises, and keeping roof temperatures more stable.
- Clean your gutters. Avoid ice dams from forming by keeping your gutters clear of leaves, branches, grime, and other debris that might be clogging the melting snowing from flowing down and away from the house.
- Freeze the melting snow. This may feel counter-intuitive, but if you have an active leak because of a melting ice dam and water back-up, this is a quick fix. Don’t chip away at an ice dam, you may damage your roof and the exterior of your home even more. Instead, take a box fan and blow cold air up toward the area where the water is leaking. This freezes the leak, acting like an icicle plug until professionals are able to repair the damage.
- Melt the ice dam. If you catch the ice dam before it does too much damage inside your home, fill a leg of a pair of pantyhose with calcium chloride ice melt and lay it across the ice dam and gutter. This causes the ice to melt quickly, creating a melted passage for water to drip through. Once melting, it will pass through the dam and into the gutter, safely flow away from your home. Note: Do not use rock salt, as that can cause damage to the exterior of your home.
- Remove piles of snow. Clearing away excess snow from the roof can help change the temperature on the roof and prevent the formation of ice dams. This is best accomplished with a roof rake instead of a shovel, which could tear off or damage your shingles.
Do You Need a Roof Leak Repair?
Call Riverside Restoration at the first sign of a roof leak to save major water damage to your home and money in repairs! Skilled professional restoration experts are available 24/7 to assess your damage and provide solutions to fixing your home or business.
At Riverside Restoration, we proudly service the Westport, Weston, Greenwich, Cos Cob, Darien, Southport, New Canaan, Fairfield, Old Greenwich, Riverside, Wilton, CT and surrounding areas with their flood remediation and water damage restoration needs. We will handle all aspects of your restoration from extraction and drying to the rebuild and remodeling.