Ice dams are blockages caused by winter weather. Like many problems with a roof, it's best to leave the experts to handle the problem. A roofing company comes to your home and address the situation. Additionally, roofers have the ability to prevent future ice dams from forming.
Ice Dam Defined
An ice dam forms when a roof is more than one temperature, and it's snowing outside. The snow that lands in the higher elevation of the roof is landing on an area that's warmer. It must be more than 32 degrees Fahrenheit in order for it melt. If the water trickles downward and ends up on a portion of the roof that's less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it will refreeze. When the water freezes, it forms an ice barricade, which blocks the water from coming down off of the roof. All this water has the potential to leak into your home and cause damage that requires a roofing company and a contractor to fix both the interior and the exterior of your home.
Ice Dam Removal
It's important to remove the dam as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more chances there are for damage to occur. Plus, the longer you wait, the worst the issues related to the dam will be. A roofing company will come to your home and get rid of all of the snow on your roof since the snow is the main culprit.
The next step is to address the ridge of ice that's running along your eaves. Running a channel through it so the water can flow works as a temporary fix. Generally, this is done by using an ice melt consisting of calcium chloride. Any professional roofing company will tell you that rock salt will harm your roof and should be avoided completely. To remove the entire dam, a roofer will apply steam to it to make it melt slowly. Tools are never used to chisel it away because this can harm the roof. Once the ice dam is removed, work may need to be done to the roof and inside in order to prevent it from recurring.
Always hire a roofing contractor to work on a roof in snowy conditions. It's a dangerous job and should be left to professionals at Intelligent Design Corp.