In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basic causes of ice dams on a roof in winter, plus how to prevent these causes from taking place. Ice dams, which refer to snow and ice collecting on the edge of your roof, can lead to water damage, mold formation and major structural issues if they are not properly addressed.

At Renaissance Asphalt Services, we’re here to help with detailed, dedicated ice dam removal services. If you have ice dam concerns taking place on your roof, here are the general steps our team will take to help identify the damage, remove the damming issues and repair any areas that have been significantly damaged.

Identifying Heat Loss Location

As we noted in part one of this series, the primary cause of ice damming on your roof is heat loss. Heat from your home escapes, often due to poor insulation or leaks in the roof, and causes snow that’s already present to melt in certain areas – but when this snow re-freezes, it’s at the edge of the roof (having been turned into droplets previously), and creates a layer of ice that continues to build over time if not addressed.

If you are having ice dam concerns, then, our first step will be to identify the primary heat loss areas and causes in your roof. Before we move on to the ice damming itself or the interior damage and future ventilation needs we’ll be assisting you with, we’ll help remedy these heat loss sources so the damming concerns stop.

Melting or Other Removal Methods

When it comes to actually removing the ice dams themselves, we may utilize several professional tests and methods. Some of these include, but are not limited to:

  • Melting: Using calcium chloride, the same material used to melt ice on driveways, we may attempt to melt certain ice dams directly. This generally involves a vertical positioning of a large amount of calcium chloride, which is sent through the ice dam to help melt it and run resulting water off the roof’s edge.
  • Breaking: In other cases, we may use a mallet or other tools to break an ice dam. This is a dangerous task if you are not properly trained for it, and we do not ever recommend attempting it on your own.
  • Steam: In still other situations, we may use commercial steaming equipment to heat and remove ice dams. Once again, this is a professional-only method that should not be attempted by others.

Repairing Damage

Finally, once the ice dam is removed, we’ll assist you with repairing any interior damage or other concerns that still remain. We’ll also provide you with recommendations for ventilation and insulation upgrades, if necessary, to ensure heat loss and resulting ice dams don’t take place again in the future.

For more on removing and preventing ice dams on the roof, or to learn about any of our asphalt repair or paving services and our new location in Idaho, speak to the staff at Renaissance Asphalt Services today.