An ice dam is a problem that occurs when hot spots on a roof, usually created by hot air in the home, causes snow on the roof to melt in uneven patches. As the snow on the roof melts, it rolls down to the eaves of the house, where the temperature is relatively cold. The melting snow refreezes into icicles that dangle from the eaves. As ice continues to form over the eaves, it begins to back up into the shingles of the house. Eventually this ice works its way under the roof and into the attic. From there, water can flow freely into the house, resulting in ceiling leaks, wall leaks and significant water damage. 

These fast fixes will help minimize the damage throughout the winter, but these solutions are only temporary. If your home has an ice dam, contact a roofing contractor like Conrad Roofing Of Illinois to find out the best way to fix your problem permanently. 

Freeze the Leak

To prevent the melting snow from leaking into your home, turn on fans and open up all vents into the attic. Blowing cold air at the leak will cause the water to turn into ice, preventing the water from leaking down into the lower levels of your home. 

Remove Snow from the Roof

Use a snow rake to rake the snow off of your roof, or hire professionals to remove the snow from your roof. If you can reach the snow on your roof using the rake, you'll save yourself money. However, it's important to never climb onto your roof to rake the snow. Your rooftop could be slick and icy in the winter time, and trying to remove the snow from the roof could be hazardous.

If you cannot get to the snow from a position on the ground, hire professionals. Contact a roofing company in your area to find out if they will remove the snow. Professionals have specialized equipment that allow them to reach the upper parts of your roof without risk of falling. 

Melt the Snow on the Roof

Use de-icing cables to melt the snow along the eaves. This will prevent ice from backing up into your home. De-icing cables can be used throughout the winter, but should not be viewed as a long-term fix. The only way to truly fix an ice dam is to hire professional roofing contractors to solve the hot spot problem on your roof, thus allowing all snow on your roof to melt at an even pace.