Ice Dam Removal the Safe Way Ice Dam Removal the Safe Way

What You'll Need
Ladder
Ice Pick
Shovel

Ice dam removal is important to do in order to prevent damage to your roof or attic. An ice dam is a formation of ice and snow at the corner of a roof that does not drain into the gutters or melt properly. Over time, as the weather changes and freezes the ice dam has the potential to cause water damage and leak in to the attic of your home. This leaking will result in an expensive repair and replacement of your roof if left untreated. 

You can remove an ice dam by going onto your roof and removing the snow and ice buildup. This should be done safely and carefully to avoid any injury or damage to your roof or body. Here are some tips, along with the tools and materials needed to accomplish this task.

Step 1: Place a Ladder Against the Roof

Make sure that the bottom of the ladder is secure against the house before climbing on it. Because you will be working in cold temperatures make sure to dress appropriately for being outdoors.

Step 2: Climb up the Ladder

With the ladder properly positioned where the suspected ice dam is, climb up the ladder slowly and carefully. You want to climb to the top of the ladder, or as close as you can to see the ice dam. You want to be in a position where you can reach the ice dam formation with a shovel, ice pick, or other tool necessary to break it up. Do not climb up on the roof because you may not be able to secure your footing.  

Step 3: Break up the Ice Dam

When you reach a spot on the roof where you can safely remove the ice dam, break up the formation using a shovel or other tool. It will not be necessary to exert a lot of force while on the ladder, and do not force the tool that you are using against the ice dam. As it comes loose force the ice or snow that breaks away to the ground and off of the roof. This will keep the ice dam from reforming and refreezing on the roof. After you complete this process climb down from the ladder and place your tools back into storage.

Step 4: Periodically Check the Roof

With the removal of the ice dam complete, your problem with ice and snow formations should be eliminated. This may be a temporary solution, however, so you want to check on a periodic basis throughout the winter to make sure that no new ice dams have formed. This is especially true after any large ice or snow storm that takes place. 

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