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Dry Effect Maintenance Minute: Dealing with Ice Damming

Posted at 4:56 AM, Dec 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-19 04:56:14-05

Ice damming can be a serious problem, but should it occur on your house, here's what you or a contractor can do about it:
1. Use hot water: Running hot water over the ice dam, gently, will melt it and allow the water to drain out through the gutters.
2. Install heat cable: You can have heat cables installed on the roof in the summertime which will then be there come cold weather to melt the ice dam for you. Your roofer may recommend that you use them temporarily or install them permanently to solve your ice dam problems moving forward. For example, they may be installed on roof planes that face north and have a higher roof plane draining onto them. As these roof planes get very little sun in the winter, the excess water becomes an ice dam more easily. Roofers may also use heat cables to prevent ice dams from forming and drainpipes from freezing on commercial roofs.
3. Remove snow: If warmer weather is on its way, and the ice dam is likely to melt, your roofer might choose to have the rest of the snow on your roof removed. Otherwise, the snow may melt under the sun and become another ice dam when it refreezes at the colder roof’s eave. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends that some snow be left on the roof to prevent damage to the shingles. That way, the contractor’s shovel doesn’t come into direct contact with the roof, so it won’t scrape it. Remember that only a professional can safely remove snow from the roof with a shovel, and they must be very careful.
Don't forget you can always call Dry Effect for your restoration needs!

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