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Ice Dam Do and Don'ts

Ice dams are ridges of solid ice that form along the gutters and eaves of buildings.  They have the potential to loosen or tear off gutters and shingles and cause water intrusions in the structure. Contractors are backed up due to the number of calls for help which means you will need to take steps to reduce damages until help arrives.



  • Remove the ice and snow from your roof.
  • Remove it after every heavy snow fall.
  • Use rubber roof rakes and other roof safe appliances.
  • Keep your downspouts clear.
  • Call your insurance agent or company to report the loss.
  • Contact multiple contractors to be added to their “wait list”.
  • Protect your belongings. Move anything you can away from the water source.  Consider getting help from a moving company to move heavy furntiture if needed.
  • Use heavy thick towels to soak up saturated wall to wall carpeting. Change them often.
  • If possible, lift carpet and pad in wettest areas to aid air flow
  • Use fans and dehumidifiers when possible
  • Call contractors who may be able to service wet area removal and put them on notice for future repairs and rebuild if needed.
  • If you spot a section of sagging ceiling poke a hole to direct the flow of water and catch in bucket.


  • DO NOT turn up the heat in an attempt to dry the wet areas
  • Avoid use of fans, dehumidifiers and other appliances in wet areas, especially those with standing water.
  • Do not remove the snow down to the shingles. Leave a layer on the roof to avoid roof damage.
  • Do not walk directly under large icicles or near roofs with heavy snow load to avoid injury.
  • Do not use Rock Salt on your roof as it will cause damage. Use pure Calcium Chloride instead.
  • Do not attempt to remain in a building you deem to be structurally unsound.