Feb 27, 2013
Over the last week, the Kansas City Metro Area has been blanketed with up to or over a foot of snow – twice!
From Johnson County to Lee’s Summit up to Liberty and Parkville, most homeowners are focused on digging out their cars and have no idea that their roof may be what needs their attention most.
What are ice dams?
These conditions are perfect for causing ice dams to form on the roofs of homes. Ice dams occur when hot air escapes your home and melts the bottom layer of snow closest to your home, but doesn’t melt the top layer of snow. As the water flows down the roof under the other snow layers and hits the colder eaves and gutters, ice begins to form. Snow that melts later is no longer able to escape, resulting in leaks that can penetrate the roof and into the home causing damage to ceilings, walls, insulation, etc.
How to remove ice dams:
A simple tool called a roof rake can help mitigate this problem. After a heavy snow like we just had, it’s best to act quickly. Concentrate on raking off at least the bottom 4 feet from the roof’s edges. If you have a one-story home, you should not need a ladder since a roof rake is usually at least 16 to 22 feet long. If you have a two-story home, maneuvering a ladder can be very hazardous in these conditions, so be careful or call a roofing professional.
Snow melt or calcium chloride: If you notice that an ice dam is beginning to form, snow melt or calcium chloride can work wonders. You will need a ladder, so again call a pro or be extremely careful. Simply put the snow melt directly on the ice. DO NOT USE SALT. Salt can stain your roof causing even more damage.
Call a roofing contractor. Typically, they will charge somewhere between $100-$300 depending on difficulty and how big your home is, but it may be a small price to pay for safety.