How to Deal with and Prevent Ice Dams

Winter – whether you love it or aren’t a fan and are anticipating spring’s arrival, it’s here until the March equinox takes place on March 19. This means we have another few weeks of possible sleet, ice storms, and snow.

With this winter weather comes the chance of extensive and costly damage to your home, especially your gutters, if you’re not prepared. What’s one of the worst winter weather culprits that cause damage to your gutters? Ice dams.

What are Ice Dams?

Ice dams are thick pieces of ice that collect around the edges of sloped roofs. They form when heat produced from inside a house melts the accumulated snow on a roof. As a result, the meltwater has nowhere to drain to so it’s constantly refreezing and melting resulting in ice dams.

How do ice dams affect the rest of your gutter system? Accumulated snow begins to melt, resulting in meltwater running off into gutters and roof slopes where it then freezes. This frozen meltwater makes it impossible for other melting ice and snow to drain properly, causing all sorts of issues for your entire gutter system. 

Living in the Chicago region where winter weather is unpredictable and temperatures often fluctuate, especially in late winter/early spring, ice dams are a common issue. These fluctuating temperatures cause snow to melt and refreeze resulting in ice dams that form rapidly.

What Damage Can Ice Dams Cause?

If left alone all winter, ice dams can cause extensive and costly damage to your home. Ice dams can cause a whole slew of issues: damaged shingles, leaking roofs, reduced effectiveness of your home’s insulation, possible mold, etc. 

Not only can ice dams cause damage to your home, but they can cause damage to your health too. Because ice dams can reduce the effectiveness of your home’s insulation, they can cause the temperature in your home to fluctuate, making your home cooler in the winter months. They can also cause dampness in your home which can cause a collection of bacteria and mold to accumulate, causing respiratory issues. 

Ice that forms because of ice dams can also pose a risk to your health. The ice can become dislodged and can fall and cause serious injuries. Ice dams can weigh quite a bit, and can cause serious injuries if they fall on someone.

What can I do if I have Ice Dams?

Ice dams are a nuisance but luckily they can be removed. Follow the tips below to safely remove ice dams from your roof:

  1. Heat cable near roof edges or inside gutters
  2. Safely use a roof rake to remove accumulated snow and ice
  3. Use a safe ice melt product that won’t damage your roof such as calcium chloride
  4. Contact a professional

Removing ice dams can be time consuming, damaging and tiring, which is why you should take every measure you can to prevent them from forming. The best thing you can do to remove ice dams is to contact a gutter company in the Chicago region like K-Guard.

How can I Prevent Ice Dams?

Preventing ice dams is the best thing you can do to protect your home and the safety of your loved ones. Luckily, there are some measures you can take to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof: checking your home’s insulation and installing a K-Guard Gutter System.

Step One: Check Your Home’s Insulation

Having your home checked for air leaks and insulation issues can help prevent ice melt on your roof. Having excessive heat loss from your roof can also cause icicles to form. If you have icicles you may want to contact an insulation company.

Step Two: Install a K-Guard Gutter System

Installing a K-Guard Gutter System will help to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof. Our gutter systems can withstand all winter weather conditions, including snow and ice storms and will help prevent ice buildup on roofs. If there is excessive heat loss coming from improper insulation we will recommend that it gets fixed as well.

To install a K-Guard Gutter System, contact K-Guard Chicago. Our team of experts will provide a free in-home estimate in a timely manner and will discuss the best option for your home.  We offer a maintenance free, exclusion free warranty that is better than any gutter cover or add-on device.

Request a free in-home estimate online or call (224) 808-3078. We look forward to helping you to prevent ice dams and costly damage to your home with our gutter cover installation service.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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