Take Steps to Prevent Damage from Ice Dams

If you live in New England, it’s likely there are ice dams on your roof from the recent snowstorms. Ice dams can be very destructive because water from melting snow can back up behind the dam and leak into your home underneath the shingles.


There are two basic approaches to dealing with ice dams:

1. Hire a professional. This is the safest way to remove snow and ice from your roof.

However, if you wish to tackle the problem yourself, follow these recommendations from roofing experts:

  • Use a roof rake to remove snow buildup on the roof
  • Try not to damage your shingles
  • Avoid standing under icicles or roofs with large amounts of snow
  • Use extreme caution when using ladders because rungs become very slippery with snow and ice on them
  • Don’t use a roof rake near electrical wires
  • Have someone nearby check on you in case you need assistance or are injured


2. Create channels in the ice dams.

  • If you notice an ice buildup, fill a large sock with a melting agent (preferably calcium chloride) and lay it across the dam perpendicular to the gutter
  • The sock will release the melting agent gradually and create a channel in the ice for water to empty through
  • You may need several socks for an ice dam that runs the length of your roof

Does my house have ice dams?

Look for these warning signs:

  • Large icicles hanging from gutters
  • Water dripping from the roof overhang
  • Leaks, stains or damaged ceilings or walls inside your home

What if water is dripping inside my home?

If you notice leaks in your home, it’s important to do what you can to mitigate the damage:

  • Collect the dripping water in buckets and pans
  • Mop up standing water
  • Move furniture, clothes and valuables out of harm’s way
  • Call a professional to deal with the snow on the roof and to dry out your house


Please remember to use extreme caution and consult a professional before attempting any dangerous home repairs yourself. Feel free to share this information with friends and family if you have found it valuable.

We care about protecting you, your family and your property and we’re glad to serve you.