You may have noticed after a winter storm, icicles hanging from the eaves of your roof. You may have thought how pretty and idyllic they look, but they also are big trouble for any homeowner. Beautiful icicles are not the only thing to form after a big storm or freeze, they can also lead to ice dams in the roof gutters. Gutter ice dams are thick pieces of solid ice that can loosen the shingles on your roof, tear off your gutters, and cause water to back up and stream into your house. This water can cause stained or sagging ceilings, and warped paint and floors. Also, it can lead to moisture of the insulation in the attic, which can cause mildew and mold. Below are some tips to help prevent or get rid of gutter ice dams.
Remove Any Ice and Snow that You Can
If you leave the ice dam alone, it will continue to grow and be built up by the ice and snow on your roof. So, try to remove as much snow and ice as you can. A good tool to use here is a snow rake, which is retractable and can extend up to your roof. Make sure to stand on the ground, not a ladder or the roof. Scrape the existing ice and snow using the snow rake. It is better to pull the debris towards you in a downward motion. A side to side motion may pull off shingles from your roof.
Chip Away at the Remaining Ice
Once again, you don’t want the ice dam to grow from the remaining ice and snow. You can chip away at the ice by using an ice pick or awl. Find a sturdy object to stand on, like a stabilized ladder, and reach into the gutter with your tool. Start at the gutter, and work backward to roof. The goal is to create a channel for the melted snow to pour through your gutters, so you don’t have to remove all the ice. Just enough to create a sufficient tunnel for the snow water to run down.
Use Warm Water To Clear The Gutters
By spraying the ice dam with warm water, you can yield some immediate results. Place warm or hot water into a big spraying device and spray the water along the ice dam to loosen it up. Remember that the weather may still be quite cold, which means that hot water will eventually begin to freeze. This method should be used to speed the process up and should be combined with the other tips listed here.
Purchase a chemical de-icer product from either a hardware store or a home improvement shop. These products contain chemicals that help melt your ice dam faster. Distribute the de-icer along the ice dam according to the instructions. It will start to melt the ice and the chemicals will drain out of your gutters. You can also apply them by filling old stockings or pantyhose full of the chemical de-icer and placing them on top of the ice dams. The ice will slowly begin to melt as the contents leak through the garments.
Hire A Gutter Company To Clear The Gutters
If you don't want to put the effort in or rick injuring yourself, it is always an option to hire a gutter company to come out and resolve the ice build up in your gutters. Colorado Seamless Gutters in Denver, Colorado is a seamless gutter company that not only installs new gutters but does repairs, cleaning and ice dam removal. Give us a call today at (303) 447-1555 to help with the ice dam in your gutters.