Use heated cables connected with clips along the edge of the roof in a zigzag pattern. Heated cables help prevent ice accumulations that lift roof tiles and cause leaks. If you need an emergency solution for ice dams, try a garden hose. Use it to melt the channels that pass through ice dams and release accumulated water.
This temporary solution works best when temperatures are above freezing. It may seem counterintuitive, but one of the first things to do when you notice ice accumulations and leaks is to lower the temperature. Turning down the heat will reduce heat buildup in your home's attic and prevent more snow from melting until you can remove the dams. Less melting snow means less water leakage in your home.
For most of this winter, roof problems caused by ice dams and excess snow haven't been terrible, Noffke said. Remember that you don't want hot air to enter the attic and snow to melt on the roof, causing frost and ice buildup. A pressure washer will undoubtedly remove ice accumulations, but it will create a ridiculous ice mess on the bottom and will surely damage the shingles. Once an ice dam forms, it will only continue to grow until all the snow melts or the outside temperatures are above freezing.
Usually, it is enough to rake the first few meters of snow off the eaves to prevent the formation of ice dams, but in some cases, this will cause ice dams to form higher on the roof. They can quickly assess water damage caused by ice dams and develop a plan to help you get your home back in good shape. Keeping your roof cold isn't always as easy as it seems, so we have tips to prevent ice buildup, a solution for you. Roof defrosting cables, also known as thermal cables or thermal tape, should be considered a last resort when it comes to preventing roof leaks from ice dams.
If there are leaks in ice dams that seep around windows, make sure that the drain holes in the storm window frames are clear. One of the best answers to preventing ice build-up is to maintain the roof properly and ensure that it has sufficient insulation to prevent hot air from entering. This may be one of the main factors contributing to ice dams or, in the case of the photo above, it may be the sole cause of ice dams. Two of the main causes of ice dams are inadequate ventilation of a house or lack of insulation in the attic, said Noffke and Klimas.
Since ice dams form on the edges of roofs, it's safe to assume that the heat is coming from somewhere in the center of the roof. Or, ice dams can constantly form at the foot of roof valleys (the junction where two roofs meet at right angles) because they are filled with wind-blown snow. Ice dams usually form near the edge of the roof when water leaves the heated roof and then freezes back into the eaves, but this isn't the only place you'll find them.