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How Ice Dams Form and How to Prevent Them

Ice Dams are very common on properties in cold and snowy areas. Although very pretty to look at, they can cause major damage to homes and businesses. Ice dams can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and even cause water damage to the property. Avoid the greatest risks by learning how to prevent ice dams from forming in the first place. If you weren’t able to get your home and roof ready in time or an ice dam formed despite your best efforts, the experts at ServiceMaster DSI are here with four ways to remove ice dams effectively yourself. Please feel free to share these tips with your policyholders.

Ice Dam Illustration, How to Prevent Ice Dams

Use a Chemical De-Icer Product: Spray a calcium chloride ice melt product, which you can generally purchase from your local hardware store. Be sure not to use rock salt or sodium chloride, which can damage your roof. Also, you’ll want to protect any plants below the gutters, as they’ll die from overexposure to the chemical. You may also fill a nylon stocking with calcium chloride, and throw the stocking up on the roof so that it lays perpendicular to the edge of the roof. 

Remove the buildup: Remove the Ice and Snow with a snow rake. Snow rakes are retractable rakes that can extend. Using this rake, remove snow and icicles 3-4 feet from the edge of your roof. Be sure to pull the snow toward you; don’t use a side-to-side motion because doing so could dislodge shingles.

Use Heated Cables: Heated cables are a great fix for ice dams because they essentially stop them from forming in the first place. Place the cables on the roof with clips in a zigzag pattern vertically on the roof before the snow falls, and watch as they melt snow before it has a chance to freeze and create ice dams.

Spray Warm Water:This is only a stopgap solution, but it can produce immediate results and is the cheapest way to remove an ice dam. Obtain some hot or warm water and pour it into a spraying device of some kind (large spray bottle, lawn fertilizer canister, etc.). Then spray the water along the ice to loosen it up.

ServiceMaster DSI is your preferred restoration provider and our trained technicians are here 24/7/365 to help. Sometimes even when you take all the preventative steps, your home may still experience water damage.  Contact us at 844-413-3130 or click on the button below to request service right away