Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>Removing ice dams in freezing weather/ Feb 2010 HELP QUICK
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Sam Miller
Removing ice dams in freezing weather/ Feb 2010 HELP QUICK

Lack of proper attic insulation has caused ice dams to form on the front of my bi- level. I live in the mountains of S.W. Virginia and we have received record snow fall in the last month.
It will get to 40* in the day time and melt the snow and then it will get to 20* at night and re-freeze it. My guttter is full of ice top to bottom and chipping it out is impossible. I tried salt & ice melt without success. I am concerned the weight of the ice will cause my gutters to break loose and also the melting ice will get in behind the gutter and under the 1st row of shingles and then I've got real problems.

Thanks,
Sam Miller

Re: Removing ice dams in freezing weather/ Feb 2010 HELP QUICK

Hi Sam,

There are two reasons why ice dams are so awful:

1) They cause damage quickly.

2) There are no safe DIY fixes.

One of he only things you can do is see if the gutters are blocked by any debris that was there from the fall, such a leaves, It will help the melted snow drain quicker before it gets cold at night and freezes.

I would play it safe and call in a professional to remove the snow from your roof. If you attempt it on your own, you could damage your shingles.

Good luck!
_________
Find licensed roofers in your area.

Sam Miller
Re: Removing ice dams in freezing weather/ Feb 2010 HELP QUICK

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I spent most of yesterday adding insluation to my attic. This may give me some time to figure this out.

canuk
Re: Removing ice dams in freezing weather/ Feb 2010 HELP QUICK
Sam Miller wrote:

Lack of proper attic insulation has caused ice dams to form on the front of my bi- level. I live in the mountains of S.W. Virginia and we have received record snow fall in the last month.
It will get to 40* in the day time and melt the snow and then it will get to 20* at night and re-freeze it. My guttter is full of ice top to bottom and chipping it out is impossible. I tried salt & ice melt without success. I am concerned the weight of the ice will cause my gutters to break loose and also the melting ice will get in behind the gutter and under the 1st row of shingles and then I've got real problems.

Thanks,
Sam Miller

Yep --- it's pretty difficult when they are full of ice. Banging away to try and chip away the ice will probably cause more damage.

Depending how and where the gutters are located you could try taking a cordless drill with a spade bit and bore holes in the ice.

Bore the holes in a straight line making sections in the ice along the length of the gutters --- say every foot or so---- kinda like big ice cubes in a tray.

Pouring water into the bored holes will help loosen up the sections and will help removing those sections .

Just a thought.:)

Timothy Miller
Re: Removing ice dams in freezing weather/ Feb 2010 HELP QUICK

Howdy hook up a garden hose to your water heater and spray the dam melting off this will not damage the roof materials.

canuk
Re: Removing ice dams in freezing weather/ Feb 2010 HELP QUICK

Timothy,
that would help but probably make a heck of a mess with water every where and then freezing.

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