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How To Handle An Ice Dam

Ice Dam

Many of us ooh and aah when we see icicles hanging from the roofs of our homes, but few of us realize the water damage problem that these beautiful formations may actually indicate.  Icicles are formed when water runs off the roof in areas where it was never intended to go, usually as the result of an ice dam, which is a thick ridge of solid ice that builds up along the eaves.

Ice dams can not only channel water into all the wrong places, but also rip gutters off the house, loosen shingles and roofing, and cause water to accumulate in the house. This means water damage:  peeling paint, warping floors, ruined carpet, not to mention stained walls and sagging ceilings that may become a serious safety hazard.

Ice dams can be dealt with by hacking away at the with a hammer or pick axe, but you run the very real risk of damaging your roofing through your own efforts. The better choice would be to blow in cold air to the attic, aiming it at the underside of the roof where the water is coming in. This should freeze up the water, stopping the leak.

You can also work from the ground and use a rake to pull snow and ice from the rood, since a rake will not damage the structure of the roof.

Once warm weather returns, take the time to make sure gutters are free and clear of obstructions, allowing them to properly channel water out and away from the home. Proper drainage means that water does not back up, and the potential for ice dam problems is averted.

For water damage within the home  as the result of an ice dam, contact your local water damage restoration provider.

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