Professional roofer removing ice dams and snow from a pitched roof

Rooftop Ice Dam Removal & Prevention

by | Dec 18, 2013 | Residential

One of the most common winter calls to Spokane Roofing Company is for roof leaks. Frequently, the cause of those leaks is an ice dam. An ice dam is a thick ridge of solid ice that builds up along the eaves on a roof, formed by melted snow that freezes on cold eaves. As more snow melts on a warm roof, water backs up behind the ice dam and flows under the roofing material into the house or building.

Big eaves are more prone to ice dams, which can tear off gutters, loosen shingles and cause water to back up and leak into a building. The result of leaks may include peeling paint, warped floors and damaged ceilings. Soggy insulation in the attic reduces its R-value and is a magnet for mold and mildew.

Ice dams are not really avoidable – they are typically the result of severe weather and roof architecture. The way a structure was designed and constructed can lead to a buildup at low points in the roof, which then becomes vulnerable to ice dams. Eaves, valleys and gutters are most vulnerable on homes. Drains and gutters are most vulnerable on commercial and industrial buildings.

Ice dams are not a problem that can be fixed quickly or easily. Hacking at them with a hammer, chisel, or shovel may damage your roof. It can be dangerous for a do-it-yourself homeowner or building manager, too. Throwing salt on a dam will do more harm to roof plantings than to the ice. Waiting for the weather to warm up and melt the dam may prove costly in the end.

Roof section diagram showing the formation of an ice damA bulge in the eaves of your roof is the most obvious symptom of an ice dam. Large icicles hanging from your gutters are another sign that you may have a dam on your roof. The best thing you can do is to keep your roof clear of snow, which will melt and eventually turn into ice. Ice dams resulting from melted snow present a much bigger risk to your roof than the weight of that snow. Remember, removing some snow yourself with a roof rake can be a dangerous option. Calling a professional roofer is usually a better choice.

Hire An Ice Dam Removal Professional

Spokane Roofing Company guarantees that your roof will not be damaged during ice dam removal. We remove the ice dam from your roof and optionally install heat tape to help snow melt to drain. Call (509) 838-8633 for a free estimate, if you suspect ice dams are developing on your roof. There is no reason to wait and make a bad situation worse!