This winter has been very harsh for us Michiganders. The snow and ice has taken its toll on our moods and our homes. Icicles hanging along the gutters of your house may look beautiful, but they are not a good sign when they dangle from your roof. That’s because the same conditions that allow icicles to form—snow-covered roofs and freezing cold weather—also lead to something called ice dams: thick ridges of solid ice that build up along the eaves. Dams can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to back up and pour into your house. When that happens, the results aren’t pretty: peeling paint, warped floors, stained and sagging ceilings. Not to mention wet and soggy attic insulation and becomes a target for mildew and mold.
An Ice Dam starts when heat collects in the attic and warms the roof, except at the eaves. When the snow melts on the warm roof and then freezes on the cold eaves ice accumulates along the eaves, forming a dam. Melted water from the warm roof backs up behind it, flows under the shingles, and into the house.
An easy fix is to hack may be to chisel away at ice dams with a hammer, chisel, or shovel but this is bad for your roofing—and dangerous for you. And throwing salt on them will do more to harm to your plantings than to the ice. Besides praying for warmer weather to arrive, here are two remedies that can help.
- Blow in cold air: Take a box fan into the attic and aim it at the underside of the roof where water is actively leaking in. This targeted dose of cold air will freeze the water in its tracks. This can stop the leaks in matter of minutes.
- Rake it: Pull off snow with a long-handled aluminum roof rake while you stand safely on the ground. A roof rake with wheels won’t harm the existing roofing.
If all else fails, call a reputable roofing company like ours and have their service department come out and assess the problem for you to prevent further damage to your home.