Ice Dam Removal: How To Get Rid Of Ice Dams

Ice Dam Removal: How To Get Rid Of Ice Dams

author profile picture

Posted By:Shingle & Metal Team

Ice dams are thick ridges of ice that form along the edges of roofs, typically in colder climates where snow accumulates on the roof. As heat from the attic melts the snow, the water runs down the roof until it reaches the colder eaves, where it refreezes, forming an ice dam. Over time, these ice dams can trap water on the roof, leading to leaks, water damage, and even structural issues if left untreated.

Inside this blog:

  • 3 key removal methods for ice dams on your roof
  • Tips for safely and effectively removing ice dams
  • Tips + tricks for minimizing ice dam formation on your roof’s surface

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about ice dam roof removal so you can have a healthy home all season long!

🛠️ 3 Ice Dam Removal Methods: How to Safely Remove Ice Dams

Let’s go over 3 key removal methods for ice dams on your roof.

1. Using a Roof Rake


When it comes to combating ice dams, a roof rake is a homeowner’s best friend. This long-handled tool is specifically designed to remove snow from the roof while keeping you safely on the ground. It’s a simple yet effective solution for preventing the formation of ice dams.

To use a roof rake, start by gently pulling the snow off the roof, starting from the edge and working your way up. It’s essential to avoid pulling the snow towards yourself, as this can increase the risk of injury from falling snow or ice.

Additionally, be mindful of your surroundings and avoid standing directly beneath the area being cleared. By taking these precautions, you can safely and effectively remove snow from your roof and prevent ice dams from forming.

2. Applying Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is a powerful compound that can help melt ice dams and create channels for water to drain off the roof. To use calcium chloride effectively, fill a pair of pantyhose or socks with calcium chloride pellets and place them along the edge of the roof, perpendicular to the ice dam.

As the pellets dissolve, the calcium chloride will create pathways for water to escape, helping to alleviate the pressure caused by the ice dam. This method is particularly useful for smaller ice dams or areas where traditional removal methods may not be practical.

However, it’s essential to exercise caution when handling calcium chloride, as it can be harmful if ingested or inhaled. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and wear gloves and eye protection when applying calcium chloride to your roof.

3. Using a Steamer

When all else fails, a steamer can be a lifesaver for removing stubborn ice dams. These specialized tools use hot water to melt the ice quickly and safely, allowing water to flow off the roof and prevent further damage. While steamers can be highly effective, they also come with some drawbacks.

First and foremost, steamers can be expensive to rent or purchase, making them less accessible for homeowners on a budget. Additionally, steamers require professional expertise to operate safely, as they generate high temperatures and pressure.

If you’re considering using a steamer to remove ice dams from your roof, it’s essential to weigh the cost and benefits carefully and consider hiring a professional if you’re unsure how to use the equipment safely.

Preventing Future Ice Dams: Tips for Minimizing Ice Dam Formation

Below are a few tips for how you can minimize ice dams from forming on your roof.

Improve Attic Insulation


When it comes to preventing ice dams, one of the most effective measures you can take is to improve attic insulation. Proper attic insulation helps to maintain a consistent temperature inside the attic, reducing the likelihood of snow melting on the roof and forming ice dams. Ensure that your attic is adequately insulated to prevent heat loss and keep warm air from escaping through the roof.

Additionally, proper attic ventilation is essential to allow excess heat and moisture to escape, helping to regulate the temperature and humidity levels in the attic. By investing in quality attic insulation and ventilation, you can create a barrier against ice dams and protect your home from winter weather damage.

Seal Air Leaks

Another crucial step in preventing ice dams is to seal any air leaks in the attic that could allow warm air to escape and melt snow on the roof. Common sources of air leaks include gaps around vents, chimneys, and exhaust fans, as well as cracks in the attic floor or walls.

Use caulking or weatherstripping to seal these leaks and prevent heat loss, keeping warm air inside the home where it belongs. By sealing air leaks, you can reduce the risk of snow melting on the roof and forming ice dams, helping to protect your home from water damage and costly repairs.

Clear Gutters and Downspouts

Proper gutter maintenance is essential for preventing ice dams and protecting your home from water damage. Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris to allow water to flow freely off the roof and away from the foundation. Regularly clean gutters and remove any leaves, twigs, or other obstructions that could block the flow of water and contribute to ice dam formation.

Additionally, consider installing gutter guards to help prevent debris buildup and make gutter maintenance easier. By keeping gutters and downspouts clear, you can ensure that water drains away from your home effectively, reducing the risk of ice dams and water damage during the winter months.

Keep Your Roof Safe and Secure With Ice Dam Removal

Removing ice dams from your roof is essential for preventing water damage and maintaining the integrity of your home. By understanding how ice dams form, using the right removal methods, and taking steps to prevent future ice dam formation, you can keep your roof safe and secure all winter long. Remember to prioritize safety when removing ice dams and consider hiring a professional if you’re unsure how to safely tackle the job on your own.

Contact our expert roofing contractors at Shingle and Metal Roofs to experience top quality customer service and dedicated workmanship. We can’t wait to hear your vision for your next roofing project–let’s get the ball rolling!

Your Happiness Is Our Satisfaction