Monday, December 3rd, 2012 by Cynthia Cavoto
Nothing can be more frustrating in the dead of winter than dealing with an ice dam. Ice dams occur for several reasons including lack of proper ventilation in the attic areas and improperly draining gutters.
Gutters can become quickly clogged with debris like fallen leaves. Fallen leaves prevent water from freely draining away. As the water accumulates and freezes, ice dams form. The ice dams will not only produce huge, dangerous icicles, but can also cause water to back up into your walls. Water in your walls can cause nasty and expensive problems like rot, water damaged sheetrock and mold.
If an ice dam forms, it can be tempting to just throw ice melt on it or get up on the roof and attempt to chip away on it. Instead, invest in a good roof rake to safely remove snow build up from your roof.
When doing this, be careful not to scrape up the shingles. Once you’ve removed the bulk of the snow, allow the sun to work on the ice dam. Most ice melts are dangerous to plants and roofing materials, however you can use a urea based fertilizer to break up the ice. Look for the highest nitrogen content you can find. As it washes away, it won’t harm your plants on the ground.
On the inside, be sure to properly insulate and ventilate your attic, gable and soffit areas. Finally, clear debris from the gutters as best you can to ensure that water can flow freely as the ice dam starts to melt. If you end up facing a truly stubborn ice dam, don’t hesitate to call in a professional like ServiceMaster of Greater Bridgeport.
If you find that an ice dam has caused water to back up into your home, our professional team can immediately assess and repair the damage. The sooner you treat the damage, the greater chance you will prevent mold build up, which can be a serious respiratory issue particularly in children, older adults and those with any sort of compromised respiratory systems.