Proper Utah Ice Damming Removal
Many residents in the state of Utah may have heard of the term Utah ice damming but they may be unfamiliar with what it actually means. Utah ice damming is when an ice dam forms a ridge of ice at the edge of a roof. This ridge of ice will prevent any melting snow from draining off of the roof. This will cause water to eventually back up behind the ice dam and enter into the walls or attic area by traveling underneath the roof shingles.
The damage caused by this kind of situation can be extensive and costly. Water can leak into the home and cause damage to the installation in the attic, the ceiling in a home, and many other areas. In some cases, depending on the temperature and humidity, it can even cause mold to grow. Besides the obvious damage that can be caused to a home there is also an added health issue when ice dams are allowed to form.
Some of the culprits that produce ice dam formation are exhaust systems from either the bathroom or kitchen. Some homes have these exhaust systems enter into the attic while others have them exhaust to the outside through the roof. If you have an exhaust fan entering into the attic this needs to be eliminated. If you have an exhaust fan going through the roof to the outside of the home you need to make sure that it is high enough not to cause snow to melt.
Another cause is the addition of chimneys due to a fireplace or a wood stove. If the chimney transfers heat into the attic area this will cause snow to melt on the roof which will form an ice dam. Poorly insulated duct work that leaks into the attic space can also cause this problem. One of the simplest ways to determine if a home has ice dam formation is to notice if there are any large icicles hanging from the gutter of the home. Therefore, the bottom line is that ice dams are formed from heat escaping into areas of the attic.
If you have an ice dam forming on your home you should get in contact with a company that can safely and effectively remove it. This needs to be done sooner than later so that no interior damage is caused to your home. This company can also do a variety of things in the summertime to prevent ice dams from forming in the winter. The first thing that a reputable company will do if you have an existing ice dam is to remove the snow from your roof and follow that up by cutting a channel into the ice dam to allow water to flow safely to the ground.
The long-term solution will consist of reducing or eliminating direct sources of heat from escaping into the attic. This will entail good ventilation, proper insulation, the sealing of any openings or cracks that exists inside the home, properly venting kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans, insulating or moving water heaters and furnaces that are in the attic area, increasing attic floor insulation, ventilating the attic, eaves, and roof, and installing heat tape in the gutter and at the roof edge.
If you have an ice dam it is not recommended that you remove it yourself. If you decide to do so, you should begin by removing the snow from your roof with a roof rake. If you cannot remove all of the snow from your roof make sure that you try to remove at least the 4 feet from the edge. This will help to prevent ice dams from forming. A roof rake is a better alternative to use because it has a long handle that can extend up to 21 feet. This will allow you to remove the snow standing on a ladder on the ground. It can be dangerous to stand on a roof when there is snow and ice.
Another method that helps to remove an ice dam is to use calcium chloride. Calcium chloride or any other similar product will melt the ice. This is only a temporary solution and you will have to have the problem eventually fixed or ice dams will continue to form. Also, it should be noted that there are certain things that you do not want to do if you have an ice dam forming on your roof. All of these things that you do not want to do are important because you could risk damage to either your home or your life.
The things not to do, which are also not safe, is to use a screwdriver or ice pick, an axe or hatchet, a heat gun or propane torch, a hammer and chisel, or a chainsaw. Some ice dams can be removed by special steam tools but do not confuse that with a power washer. However, as mentioned earlier the best solution is to call a professional company that has experience in this area. These types of companies are insured and understand all of the best methods for removing Utah ice damming both safely and effectively.