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Preventions And Methods For Removing Snow From The Roof

By Author: Brian Bastel
Total Articles: 8
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The combination of freshly fallen snow with the melting and refreezing of snow can place stress on the roof of your home or buildings. Clearing the snow from the gutters after each winter storm can help prevent ice dams to avoid major roof repair. This is extremely dangerous and it should be done by professionals.

Preventions for Ice Dam Removal:
An ice dam is a thick band of ice that forms along the edge of a roof, preventing water and melting snow from draining properly. Since water cannot drain, it backs up and can be forced beneath the shingles, leaking into your house.

1. Use a Roof Rake:
The best way to prevent an ice dam is to remove the snow from your roof before it melts or refreezes. Roof rakes allow you to pull snow off your roof by standing on the ground. Roof rakes work best when removing fresh, fluffy snow. It is easy to use for a one-story house, but difficult for two-story houses.

2. Install Heat Cables:
Electric heat cables are installed along the edge of a roof to melt snow before it forms an ice dam. Heat cables are available from many home improvement supply retailers.

3. Improve Attic Insulation:
The best way to permanently address the problem of recurring ice dams is to improve insulation in your attic. The main focus should be on plugging gaps, realigning improperly installed insulations, and stopping the trickle of warm air from areas such as light fixtures, conduits, and electrical outlets.

4. Improve Attic Ventilation:
To cool your attic, you can install ventilation systems. There are many options including soffit vents, attic ventilator fans, and turbine ventilators.

Methods for Ice Dam Removal:
If you find yourself with an ice dam removal should be an immediate priority.

1. Chip and Hammer:
An ice pick might be a better choice than a hatchet to preserve your shingles and
a rubber mallet is more efficient in breaking up the ice than a claw hammer. It is enough to create channels of drainage. This is only a stopgap measure, but you need to stop leaking water as fast as possible with a proper roof repair.

2. Spray Warm Water:
A spray bottle filled with warm water can work. Trying to melt a thick ridge of ice encompasses the entire perimeter of the roof.

3. Apply Chemical Deicer:
Chemicals can clear an ice dam quickly. Unfortunately, depending on the product you use, they may harm or discolor your roof while causing damage to sensitive shrubs or plants. Avoid Sodium Chloride-based products or rock salt as these will surely damage your roof.

4. Place an Ice Dam Sock:
Creating drainage channels can be good to ensure that water does not leak into your house. Create an ice dam sock with chemicals deicer and nylon stocking.

With ice dams, it is always wise to take safety precautions. Avoid climbing entirely onto the roof and make sure you have assistance when using a ladder. Winter is the most dangerous time of the year for this kind of work, so be careful and stay safe.

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