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eHow.com’s poor advice for ice dam removal

I am shocked to see a quality site such as ehow.com give such poor advice on how to remove an ice dam. We have been in the ice dam removal industry for more than 15 years. You should never strike an ice dam with any object to break, crush, chip or chisel away an ice dam. There are many reasons for this and I’ll list just a few.

  1. Shingles are extremely fragile in the winter months. Striking the roof top (even if it’s covered in ice) can severely damage your shingles.
  2. Sending a shock wave through the ice dam could cause the entire dam to break loose and slide off the roof (taking you and your ladder with it). According to a local newspaper this is exactly what happened to a homeowner back in 2008.
  3. Breaking the bond between the ice and your shingles using force will almost always result in the loss of many granules. Granules make up the protective layer atop asphalt shingles. In layman’s terms, without these granules your roof is nothing more than a thick layer of tar paper (not good).

Using steam is the only safe and effective way to remove an ice dam. Considering steam-only ice dam removal is expensive some homeowner will be forced to use a less disirable meathod. The only alternative you should even consider is using a garden hose hooked up to the hot-water from your laundry tub (if available). This should only be done as a last resort and you’ll need to be extra careful not to add to the pooling of water behind the existing ice dam.

If you already have water leaking into your home there is a chance you could make things much worse. We always recommend that you stay on the ground, stay safe, and call a professional that provides a steam-only ice dam removal service. In most cases keeping your vents clear of snow and roof raking the first 3-6 feet of snow along your overhangs will prevent an ice dam from forming in the first place. As the old saying goes…An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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Written by on September 24, 2011

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