This could be the beginning of a Long Ice Dam season in 2017. Ice dams form on the edge of a roof when you have large amounts of snow on the roof combined with extended low temperatures. The “ice Dam” traps water on the roof and can cause major leaks into your home.
If you notice ice in the edge of your roof and water entering the house, you must remove the ice to get the water to run off your roof.
Hiring a steam Ice Dam removal contractor is usually the safest method for your home.
Think shingle stagger is not really important? Well here is s photo of what an improper roof stagger can do. As you can see in the photo you have staggers of 2-3 inches between the different courses of shingles. What you have to imagine is water running down the roof and getting in between the two shingles where they meet together.
We were called to shovel snow off this roof becuase it leaked when there was snow on the roof. Thought ice dams were the main culprit to roof leak.
In the spring 10 squares of shingle were replaced and found the shingles yo be improperly staggered causing the roof to leak while there was snow. In a rain the leak was too minor to really amount to significant water in and he building to ever be noticed; however, while snow was melting for days on the roof it allowed for insulation to become saturated and enter the building in buckets.
So the leak had the appearance of snow and ice dam causing the leaks but actually the leak was cuased by improper shingle stagger.
If you have a house like the following picture, you may not be able to climb to the ridge when there is no snow. How much more difficult do you think it can be if there is snowon the roof and that is even if possible at all.
Now here is one method you could try but I don’t know if I would recommend it. Using a hook ladder like the photo below in order to put an anchor in the ridge to tie a rope to.
This works good for a dry roof but the only problem is a hook ladder does not work very well when there is snow on the roof.
But if there is only ice dams and the snow is melted off the ridge of the house this tip could work in the right conditions.
If you are thinking of getting Open cell spray foam in your home anytime soon an you live in a northern state you may want to check if it’s the best thing to do. Some states allow in their building codes to use open cell spray foam but remember codes are always changing and spray foam is still new.
Here is some pics from a roof repair performed on a 7 year old building and you will see how open cell spray foam contributed to the premature wear and tear on the plywood of this relatively new building.
This roof seemed to leak everytime it was cold outside like close to zero degrees. It may have had issues with the vapor moisture barrier being inside the spray foam. Some believe that the warm air of the building can come into contact with the freezing roof and condensate inside the building against the roof and rot the wood.
This plywood is only 7 years old and it is totally devolved by something .
Thisvis a serious house to try to remove the Ice Dams . Even with ropes it is a very difficult task and most any homeowner would be crazy to attempt this.
Would you Shovel snow off a roof like this if your ceilings were caving in becuase of ice dams? In this photo the insurance campany actually paid to removed all the ice and snow from the house becuase there was such severe water damage in the house.
There are a lot of people that have this problem a few times in their life, but for most people that are going online to look up ice dam removal tips, 🤔 they probably have never even heard the term before the massive icicles started causing problems on their homes.
I recently just responded to an article I read due to the lack of information in the post as to the best practice to remove an Ice Dam. My response was as follows:
I am responding to an article I just read on your site and saw some stuff that is really not the best information for the readers.
It advises for people to hire a contractor who uses a hammer to get rid of Ice Dams which is not really the best method especially if you are hiring s professional.
I have seen many roofs damaged by this practice, even seen entire roofs paid to be replaced by insurance companies dur to improper ice dam removal.
Good advise from Ice Melt Salesman
If you look at the following article you will see the sales Rep for an ice melt even advises against using products on the roof to get rid of Ice Dams. Please note he states in the article he would be if it financially to sell you ice melt but it’s not always the best thing for an ice dam on your roof.
This map shows the predictions of the Polar vortex for the next 10 days. I believe it is current from the day you click on the link. It is an animated picture of the polar vortex moving across the United states.
From December 22nd, 2016 it looks like the Colder weather will stay more or north of the Canadian border for the remainder of 2016, but early 2017 might start to travel a little south into New England.
New York is looking like the best candidate in the USA for the first major Ice Dams of the 2017 winter season.
In order to have ice dams you need to have 2 ingredients, the first being snow on roofs (preferably about 2 ft or more) and you need to have weeks of weather below freezing or near freezing. If it gets to 40 degrees or above most of the snow will rapidly melt off the roofs and ice will look like Swiss cheese over the gutters which generally does not act as an ice dam.
This makes upstate New York the Best candidate in US for significant ice dams this season. Look at the current snow totals in this screen shot of the current snow totals on the ground in New York.
As you can see if you are steam Ice Dam company you should keep your eye on Upstate New York for first round of Ice Dams this year.