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Nothing means wintry wonderland more than seeing icicles hanging on the edges of your roof one chilly morning, but they’re not as harmless as you think. Behind this charming façade is a lurking danger, both for your roof and even your safety.
Icicles, or technically stalactites, are symptoms of a much bigger problem, according to Bone Dry Roofing, your top roofing contractor in the area. This problem is called an ice dam. There are a few ways to remove ice dams, of which we present three in today’s post.
One of the easiest ways to remove ice dams is to chip them. You can use any regular household tools for this purpose, such as a hatchet, crowbar, or better yet, an ice pick. But don’t do it carelessly or you’re going to tire yourself before you can make progress; start by chipping away at the ice from the gutters and upward from there.
Note that you don’t need to remove all the ice this way. You simply need to remove enough so the melted snow can drain through the gutters. Roof repair contractors warn, however, that chipping can damage the roof itself if you’re not careful, and it might also need to be done much more regularly as snowmelt refreezes.
A roof snow rake can be an easy answer to your problem. It comes with wheels so you don’t drag it across your shingles. Newer ones also come with telescopic handles that can extend up to 20 feet. The advantage of the rake is that you can use it from the ground to scrape the snow from your roof. Avoid scraping sideways, however, as it could tear the shingles off your roof.
Finally, a de-icing solution is an effective procedure. This usually involves filling a nylon stocking with calcium chloride (CaCl), which is a type of salt that’s used in roads during winter. The de-icing properties of road salt can also be used to thaw ice trapped in gutters, which allows water to drain properly.