How-to: Ice Dam Prevention Tips

ICE? DAMN.

It’s an all-too-common wintertime scene: Snow-covered roofs with icicles dangling from the eaves, giving our home sweet homes an almost gingerbread house-like charm.

But there’s certainly nothing charming about the damage to a home – both inside and out – that can result from excessive ice build-up. The extreme weather of this particular winter season means the problem is especially worse for many of us.

Whether or not you’ve been affected yet this year, it’s good to become educated on the topic of ice dams so you can be in the best position to protect your home! We’ve assembled some tips below to help you mitigate any existing damage and help prevent it from happening in the future.

ICE DAM  DOS & DO-NOTS

– DO NOT attempt to remove the ice yourself or chip off those long icicles, tempting as it may be. Ice can break off in large chunks weighing hundreds of pounds which can cause serious damage – not only to your home but to YOU and anyone standing with you!

– DO NOT climb onto the roof in an attempt to perform any snow- or ice removal. Your slip-and-fall risk is just too great this time of year.

– DO NOT toss salt onto the ice dam in an attempt to melt it down. This method is ineffective and will only result in damage to nearby plantings. 

– DO get started on the problem early – remove leaves and other debris from the gutters as part of your autumn yard clean-up, well before the snow even begins to fall!

– DO  remove as much snow from the roof as possible using a roof rake. Remember to exercise safety – stand well back from overhangs and be wary of overhead power lines. 

– DO seal air leaks in your attic, then insulate your roof or attic and add venting as needed. (Hiring professionals for the task is strongly recommended!) This will help prevent future build-up as well as reduce your heating costs! 

Keep the faith, West Michiganders – spring is only 41 days away!

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