West Michigan Snow & Ice Dam Removal
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Snow & ice dam removal
Your roof is one of the most important elements of your home. It’s what keeps the cold out, the heat in, and keeps you safe and dry. When winter hits, there are a lot of potential threats to your roof, from winter storms to falling trees, and even more frequently from ice dams. A seriously destructive issue, ice dams can ruin the integrity of your roof, and can cost you a lot of money in repairs.
Not only is ice dam removal a major hassle in the wintertime, it’s an issue that can be compounded by excessive snow accumulation. A lot of snow on your roof can lead to bigger problems with ice dams, and it can challenge the structural integrity of your roof.
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How do you know when it’s time for a new roof?
The only way to be sure of your asphalt roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition.
Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.”
What Is an ice dam?
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms on the edge of your roof. The accumulation of ice blocks the melting snow farther up on your roof from sliding off, causing it to leak through your roof into the insulation. This leakage often creates water damage to your roof, insulation, ceiling, and possibly other parts of your home, which is why it’s important to get ice dams removed as soon as possible.
How does an ice dam form?
- If your roof or attic is poorly insulated, the heat from the inside of your home will rise and warm your roof.
- The snow on your roof will melt and slide farther down the roof until it eventually reaches your eaves.
- When it reaches the cooler overhang of the roof, the water will freeze. As more snow melts and refreezes at the eaves, layers will create a ridge, or ice dam, blocking the water from traveling safely off your roof.
This ice dam can be dangerous to the structural integrity of your home and can also ruin your gutters, so it’s a good idea to try and prevent them, or at least get them removed as soon as you detect the problem.
Tips for preventing an ice dam
The number one way to prevent an ice dam is to make sure your attic and roof are well insulated. This helps your home keep heat in and away from the roof, which is what initially creates the problem.
If you shovel off your roof after heavy snowfalls, you’re more likely to avoid ice dams. When there’s no snow on your roof, there’s little chance that an ice dam can form. It’s important to exercise caution with this method, however, because you don’t want to hurt yourself or your roof. Use a special roof shovel that won’t damage your roof and don’t attempt to shovel your roof if conditions are very icy or if your house is taller than one story.
If you’re proactive, heated cables are a great way to prevent ice dams and save a little bit of money. Instead of repairing or re-insulating your roof, you just clip heated cables to the edge of your roof in a zig-zag pattern. The heat from the cables will melt any potential ice that could build up on the edges. The only drawback with this strategy is that you have to do it before the cold weather starts. Heated cables must be installed on a dry roof.
Another prevention method that requires a bit of foresight is an ice belt. An ice belt is a band of metal roofing that you can have installed around the bottom of your roof, near the eaves. Since the metal has less friction than a traditional asphalt roof, the melting water is more likely to slide off than stick and freeze.
What happens when you get an ice dam?
Even if you have the best intentions and think you’ve done as much as you can to prevent an ice dam, in some older homes they are still likely to occur. So now that you know you’ve got one, how do you remove that ice dam, or at least keep it from getting worse?
TRY TO MELT THE ICE DAM
You can try to melt the ice dam to remove it without damaging your roof. A good way to do this is to fill a large sock or pantyhose with ice melt, and throw it on the roof across the ice dam, hanging slightly over the edge of the gutter. The ice melt will slowly warm the ice dam, providing a temporary fix.
CALL A PROFESSIONAL
The best and safest way to remove ice dams is to call a properly insured professional with equipment for ice dam removal. They can melt the ice dam without damaging your gutters, shingles, or the integrity of your roof. If you’re having trouble with ice dam removal, feel free to call the experts at Werner Roofing.
How Much snow is too much?
As a general rule, a structurally sound roof should be able to support 20 lbs per square inch. Every home is required to have a roof that will hold up to the area’s typical amount of snowfall. So how much snow is that, exactly?
How do you get the snow off your roof?
CALL A PROFESSIONAL
The best way to keep yourself and your home safe is to call a professional. They will know exactly what your roof needs and how to execute their plan safely and efficiently. Whether your roof requires reinforcement or just some general snow removal, they’ll be able to do it at a much lower cost than your life. The experienced roofers at Werner Roofing are always available to take your call and we provide a free quote.
If you decide you want to do it yourself, please be careful. It’s a good idea to buy a roof shovel with an extendable or extremely long handle, so you can get as much snow as possible from the ground. Remember to watch out for where the snow is going to fall and stay clear. If you have a home that’s two stories or more, it’s best to just call a professional. At Werner Roofing, we’re glad to be of assistance and we always offer a free estimate before we do anything!
Free Roofing Estimate
Planning some work on your roof? Is your roof in need of repair? Werner Roofing can help. Contact our roofing team for a free estimate for your upcoming roofing project.
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