With the winter months fast approaching and cold weather pervading throughout the northern hemisphere, it’s time to prepare your home against the elements to protect your family and the structural integrity of your property.
This means making provisions to fight back against the frost, ice and show which can sneak into your home to deal some serious damage.
“Ice dams” – an accumulation of ice above the gutters which can cause dammed water to seep into your living space – are a real risk to homes in locations which experience snowfall and freezing temperatures.
If these ice dams form your property becomes susceptible to leaking and the weight can even deal structural damage to your gutters.
Here’s a look at how to prevent ice dams and, if they form, remove them.
Preventing Ice Dams
It’s important that you take a series of measures in order to mitigate the risk of ice dams.
Using ventilation is one of the most effective methods of reducing the risk of ice dams forming on your roof. Soffit ventilation is provided via a baffle in a bid to keep cool air circulating under the roof in order to keep it close to outside temperature.
This is an effective method given that it’s contrasting temperatures which lead to the formation of ice dams. When the temperatures are regulated appropriately in this way, you are not at as much risk. Professionals will be able to help you with this.
Cleaning Your Gutters
Over the course of the year a lot of dirt can accumulate in your gutters. That’s not to mention the leaves that fall throughout autumn, which mean that melted snow has nowhere to go and will just freeze within your gutters.
If you have the ability, a rigorous clean of your gutters is a great idea or you can always call upon one of the many roofing companies in Oakland County Michigan to help get the job done right.
Install Heat Tape
Electric heat tape should be used to serpentine along the roof edge inside the gutter and down into the downspout. This will help to effectively melt and funnel liquid away from your roof. Exercise caution, however: if the tape isn’t installed properly it can serve to exacerbate the issue and lead to leader ice dams.
Check Your Attic Floor Insulation
We all love to keep warm throughout the winter by heating our homes. But if this heats the attic, this can lead to snow melting from the roof and running into the frozen snow at the edge of the roof, therefore leading to ice dams. You should consult a professional to check the appropriate level of insulation is being used.
Removing Ice Dams
If the worst happens and ice dams form, there are key methods that you can use to remove them.
Use Ice Melting Products
Calcium chloride and other products are great materials to melt ice. These can be applied to the dam to quickly and comprehensively remove it.
Use a Roof Rake
Snow is a big factor in the formation of ice dams given that it has insulating properties. The roof rake will allow you to pull snow from the roof from the ground safely. This is important because getting into the roof to remove snow is incredibly dangerous and should be avoided in every circumstance.
Keep Your Property Safe This Winter
We hope that these tips will help you to avoid the formation of ice dams and, if they do form, to remove them appropriately.
Their potential for structural damage cannot be understated so it’s incredibly important that you’re diligent in tackling ice dams throughout the winter months.