Ice dams may be the least of your household concerns but these can wreak
serious havoc on your roofing system if not removed immediately. Some
of the structural damages include water-stained ceilings, dislodged roof
shingles, sagging gutters, peeling paint, and damaged plaster. All of
these can lead you to shell out larger sums of money so it is wiser to
get rid of ice dams before things get worse.
If you ask an experienced Seattle roofer, he is likely to tell you that
there are several ways you can treat the symptoms of a faulty roofing
system. Essentially, it all lies on proper air sealing, insulation, and
attic venting. Below is an excerpt from ThisOldHouse.com article which
explains how you can protect your roof against the damaging effects of ice dams:
“A ridge vent paired with continuous soffit vents circulates cold
air under the entire roof. Both ridge and soffit vents should have the
same size openings and provide at least 1 square foot of opening for every
300 square feet of attic floor. Place baffles at the eaves to maintain
a clear path for the airflow from the soffit vents.
An unsealed attic hatch or whole-house fan is a massive opening for heat
to escape. Cover them with weatherstripped caps made from foil-faced foam
board held together with aluminum tape.”
When you want to do it your way
As you decide to fix the problem yourself, avoid the mistake of taking
a hammer and pounding the ice into pieces. This may be the easiest way
out but it can damage other areas of your roof, leaving you with more
repairs. A quick fix would be putting a sock or pantyhose that is filled
with ice melt or calcium chloride across the ice dam.
You may also try using an electric heat cable to melt the snow. Ideally,
the heat cable needs to be put down before the dam forms. Be mindful though
that the snow may melt sooner than expected so you have to find a way
for the water to flow off completely.
Let the pros handle it
In case you find it too difficult to handle, you may seek the services
of professional roofing contractors in Seattle. They have special tools
and advanced techniques such as the utilization of pressured steam. While
the upfront cost may be overwhelming, it is still cheaper than having
a complete roof repair.
As you choose potential contractors, take some time to research on their
background. Check the company’s website to see if they have earned
awards for their excellent services. For worry-free craftsmanship in removing
ice dams, work with reputable contractors like Tristate Roofing
(Article Information and Image from
Preventing Ice Dams, ThisOldHouse.com)