Top Tips for Fixing Ice Dams on Your Roof

ice dams on roof usa

If you live in an area of the country such as the USA and Canada that certainly receives its fair share of cold, snow, and ice during the winter months, you have very likely seen the effects of the cold and ice on items left outside to bear the brunt of the elements. Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on just about everything but so too can the buildup of snow and ice. From the temperatures required to sustain snow and ice in large quantities to the sheer weight of it all, parts of your home exposed to these hazards can definitely sustain damage.


Your home, especially your roof, must withstand the brunt of all types of weather, including the cold, ice, and snow. The effects of the ice and snow on a roof can be destructive and cause serious problems that will need to be repaired. These repairs (or possible replacement) can be very expensive, so it is integral that you protect your roof and all of the people and items that it protects within your home. The best way to protect the roof from the harmful effects of an ice dam is a professionally installed ice melt system.

What Is an Ice Dam?


fixing roof ice dams


An ice dam is an accumulation of snow on your roof and the development of icicles on the eaves and gutters. When the roof over the attic or upper portion of your home becomes warm enough to melt the underside of the layer of snow of the roof, an ice dam can form. The water will trickle down between the layer of snow and the shingles until it reaches the eave of the roof. That eave stays cold since it extends beyond the side of the house and does not receive warmth from the interior of the attic. 


As the weather freezes and builds up, it grows into a mound of ice known as an ice dam. Those homes with a flatter pitch for the roof are more likely to have that ice dam built up more quickly than other homes with a greater slant in the roof. Gutter, of course, can trap the snow and ice, and this trapping can lead to a solid foundation for the ice dam to develop.


What Damage Can Ice Dams Cause to Your Home?


Ice dams can clog your gutters and icicles or other heavy ice formations may cause exterior and/or interior damage to your home and toxic mold may develop. Melted water backs up behind a large ice dam and can seep underneath the shingles. It can then easily find its way into the home and drip into the insulation and down into the ceiling and exterior walls. This can ruin sheetrock and paint. If not taken care of, mold can also develop from the consistent water formations. 

If the ice formations break off and fall from the eaves, they can severely damage anything they land on, including people. A giant ice formation can certainly injure or kill those who happen to be unlucky enough to be standing underneath them. The ice dam that breaks free may also pull shingles and gutters off as it falls leading to the need for expensive repairs once the winter weather breaks.

How to Fix Ice Dams on Your Roof


ice melt solutions on roof


If you have an existing ice dam on your roof, it is important that you remove it before it has a chance to cause the types of damage or injuries listed above. 

Remove an ice dam


Removing an ice dam that has already formed can be very dangerous work because it takes time, patience, and the ability to remain in the cold weather for an extended period of time. To break away the ice dam, use a blunt mallet and lightly tap on the dam. Do not use a sharp instrument such as an ax because it can cut through shingles or other roofing materials. You need to break off small chunks of the dam at a time to prevent the inadvertent removal of shingles as well. Hiring a professional is highly recommended to ensure this process is done safely and effectively. The gutters and downspouts should also be cleared out.


Invent in an ice melt system


Another way to fix ice dams is to invest in an ice melt system such as ours at HotEdge to prevent the buildup of snow and ice in the first place. An ice melt system works using a single heat trace cable attached to the edges of your roof. The heat which runs through this cable sufficiently heats the roof in its most vulnerable places to prevent any ice from building up and forming into the dreaded and dangerous ice dams. 


Ice melt systems from HotEdge are energy efficient and use up to 70% less heat than other types of ice melt systems. You will no longer have to worry about ludicrously high electricity bills from other systems, and the concern about the dangers and destructiveness of ice dams will be eliminated from your life. 


The best part is that these systems from HotEdge are easy to install, and you can rely on your local handyman or trusted electrician to put them in for you. Whether you have a brand new roof or an older one, the HotEdge ice melt system can allow you to stop worrying when you see snow beginning to fall because they are safe, effective, and easy to install. Rather than stress over higher utility bills and the possible concerns about the damage on your roof from ice dams, you and your family can enjoy the beauty of the snow and stay warm and safe in your home.


Get the UL Certificate of Compliance


UL certificate of compliance


HotEdge is the first and only company to complete the rigorous process necessary to test and certify an entire roof edge ice melt system to achieve the UL Certificate of Compliance. Other companies may have parts of their systems or accessories from their suppliers that are UL certified, but their whole system is not certified. Even when some of the parts are certified, they often lose that certification when put into the full ice melt system. Only our ice melt systems from HotEdge are fully tested and certified in the UL laboratories. With this certification, you can rest assured that our ice melt system is safe and effective for your roof during the toughest, coldest parts of the winter no matter where you live.

Contact Our Roof Ice Melt Experts


At HotEdge, we understand how frustrating it can be to see that falling snow (though pretty to look at) is causing a serious issue to the structural integrity of the roof of your home. Our ice melt system provides you peace of mind knowing that your roof is safe and will not be damaged by the snow or buildup of ice. You and your family can enjoy the winter wonderland without worrying what the damage will be once the sun heats everything back up and the roof is revealed once again.

Contact HotEdge to learn more about our ice melt systems and how they can help prevent ice dams on your home. We are here to help you rest easy during the cold winter months.


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