It happens to even the best of us. When winter weather officially rolls in, ice comes along with it. And lots of it. Although ice can be fun to skate on, it is harmful if stuck in your gutters. When a large amount festers in your gutters, it makes what is known as ice dams. If ice dams get too big, they can weigh down even your best gutters forcing them to come loose and eventually fall. The damage from this can be very costly, which is why when you see ice dams form, you need to remove them immediately. Here are a few ways you can easily do this to prevent any further damage.
Chip it Away
If you are ready to tackle the dam head-on, find a sturdy climbing ladder and go straight to the source with an ice pick or awl. Start at the gutter and pick all the way up to your roof, but be careful not to damage anything. You don’t have to knock out the entire dam, but make sure you break away enough that melted snow and ice can run through and down your gutters smoothly. This may be a strenuous process, but it is very effective and provides immediate results.
Use De-Icer Chemical Products
If you are not wanting to pick at the ice, no worries. Instead, go to your local hardware or home improvement store and look for de-icer chemical products to purchase. They are typically in liquid or tablet form. The ingredients found in the product such as ammonium sulfate, calcium magnesium acetate, and potassium chloride work together to slowly break down the hardened ice formed in your gutters. Because you are handling chemicals, make sure you read the directions carefully before use to avoid damage to yourself or your roof. A nifty trick when using the de-icer tablets is to fill an old stocking with the product, tie it at both ends, and place it on your gutter, allowing the substance to seep into the ice. It may take some time, but you will see results.
Try Hot Water
This final suggestion should be used only in conjunction with the other suggestions listed above. It will provide immediate results, but may be difficult if the warm water freezes right back over. Try putting boiled, hot water in a spray bottle of some sort and spray the hard ice dams to loosen it up. With it loosened, you can either use your pick to break it away easier, or you could use this to speed up the de-icing process. If spraying doesn’t work, consider pouring the boiling water directly but immediately follow up with one of the previous two options.
Ice dams are not the only issue your roof and gutters will run into this winter season. Avoid having your roof sustain damage by having a professional roofer from All Roofing Siding and Gutters come out for a routine check-up. With our expertise on your side, you won’t have to worry about possibly making costly repairs to your home.