Icicles hanging from eaves create a beautiful winter scene, but think about what’s happening behind those icicles. As the frozen blockage grows, moisture (in the form of melted snow and ice) is forced back up the roofline and against the shingles. This moisture loosens even the sturdiest shingles, creating gaps and trickling through to the interior of your home. Moisture now has a clear path into your attic and ceiling, down wall cavities and through insulation. Mold, rot and other forms of water damage soon follow.
Ice dams also present a very real danger once they loosen, often ripping off shingles and eaves. And imagine the damage caused when a large, heavy block of ice falls onto your gardens, landscaping, vehicles or whatever else is below your gutters.
Dangers of Using Common Ice Dam Removal Techniques
Call a professional once you have recognized an ice dam issue and inquire about their ice dam removal techniques. Not all removal methods are equal, and many pose the risk of further damage.
Hot water pressure washers have many uses, but avoid using this equipment on your roof. The high pressure jet of hot water creates a host of problems. Although it may remove the ice dam, this method leaves behind damaged shingles and roofing material, making your home more vulnerable to ice dam issues in the future.
Consider how well pressure washers clean up concrete, wood and other surfaces, and then consider what that equipment will do to your shingles. Sand, tar and even roofing paper can be quickly and easily removed or cut with a hot water pressure washer commonly used by companies promoting ice dam removal. Avoid hiring any contractor that plans to remove your ice dam with force (such as by chiseling or hammering the ice out in small chunks) or with a pressure washer.