Reuben's Home Inspection Blog

head_left_image

How To Get Rid Of Ice Dams

 

While I've already written about how to prevent ice dams from happening, I've found that I get far more inquiries about how to get rid of ice dams.   There are plenty of 'hack' methods out there, so I decided to try them out and blog about it. The methods I'm going to discuss involve axes, ice picks, pantyhose, salt, heat cables, and a blowtorch.  Of course, the most effective and safe way of getting rid of ice dams is to hire a professional ice dam removal company.

I originally posted this blog almost a year ago, but here in Minneapolis we're currently in the middle of our fourth snow emergency, and I've already seen wicked ice dams all over town.  It's time for a reminder.

Ice Dam 3

Axe

The most obvious way to get rid of ice dams is to just take a blunt instrument and hack away at the ice dams.  I tried an axe.

Axe

Pros: Fast results - I hacked through several feet of six-inch thick ice dams in a matter of minutes.

Cons: Unsafe and cumbersome.   I had to set up a ladder on the icy ground and swing an axe while standing on a ladder.  The ice also really flew in my face - I should have been wearing goggles.  I was only able to remove the ice down to the gutter, and only able to get close to the surface of the roof without risking damage to the shingles.

Verdict: This is a high risk, but fast and effective way of getting rid of a lot of ice, but leaves the job incomplete.  You'll probably damage your roof doing this.

Ice Pick

This sounds like a natural choice, doesn't it?  I actually used my awl, but close enough.  I gave it my all.

Reuben's Awl

Pros: Very fast results, very little effort.  It's as though this tool was made for picking at ice.  Oh, wait...  Still, I was genuinely surprised at how fast and accurate this method was.

Cons: Unsafe.  Again, I was jabbing at ice dams while standing on a ladder, which was sitting on the icy ground.  I also had to be very careful to not damage the roof.

Verdict: This is definitely my method of choice.  Nothing else worked nearly as well... but again, you'll probably damage your roof doing this.

Roof Tablets

Yes, this is a product designed specifically for preventing damage from ice dams.  Contrary to the name on the container, the product doesn't actually melt your roof (whew).  The instructions say to toss the tablets on to your roof and they'll melt through the ice dams, allowing for "water to drain safely".

Roof Melt Tablet Container

Roof Melt Tablet Instructions
Roof Melt Tablets

I tried tossing the tablets on the roof like the instructions said to do, but it didn't work out very well.  I consider my tablet tossing skills to be above average, but I still couldn't get the tablets to end up in a good location - they all just slid together in one place.  If I didn't get a ladder out to take pictures, I never would have known that the tablets didn't end up in a good spot.

Roof Melt Tablets Tossed

Just to give the roof melt tablets the best possible chance for success, I hand-placed them on the ice dam and I used about four times as much as the directions called for.

Roof Melt Tablets Placed Day 1

By day two, I had some pretty dramatic results - the tablets had melted all the way through the ice dam.  btw - for anyone in a southern climate that might be reading this blog, that white stuff on the ice is snow, from a very light snowfall the night before.

Roof Melt Tablets Day 2

By the third day, not much change.  There were definite holes in the ice dam, and some channels had formed for water to drain through, but the majority of the ice was still there.

Roof Melt Tablets Day 3 #2 Roof Melt Tablets Day 3 #1

Pros: If you had perfect aim and tablets didn't move after you tossed them on to the roof, this would be very safe.  Some channels were created for water to drain through.

Cons: The tablets don't stay where they land, which negates the whole safety thing - I still had to set up a ladder on the icy ground and move the tablets around myself.  This method was also pretty ineffective - it created a bunch of holes in the ice dam, but so what?  Most of the ice dam was still there in the end.

Verdict: This might be a nice way to get down to the roof surface, and it would be nice to follow up with an ice pick after a day or two, but the tablets alone aren't great.  Sure, it's safe... but so is sitting inside a warm house.  Neither gets the job done.

Salt Filled Pantyhose

This is a simple, straight-forward approach.  Take off your pantyhose, fill 'em up with ice melt (calcium chloride or something similar), and toss 'em on your roof.  The idea is that the salt will leak through the pantyhose and eventually melt the ice dams away to nothing.   This is supposed to work better than just putting salt directly on the roof, because salt applied directly to the roof will just melt a bunch of tiny holes, much the same way the tablets melted large holes.

Salt Filled Pantyhose Day 1

By day two, there were several tiny holes in the ice dam.  Whoop-de-doo.  Salt alone would have done this.

Salt Filled Pantyhose Day 2

By day three, the pantyhose had started to melt in to the ice dam, and had completely melted down to the roof.   The part that hadn't melted down to the roof basically had a hard, crusty layer of salt(?) formed on the bottom of the pantyhose, and nothing else was happening.  I picked up the pantyhose, broke up all the chunks of stuck together salt, and placed it back down.

Salt Filled Pantyhose Day 3 #1 Salt Filled Pantyhose Day 3 #2

On day four, I tried moving the pantyhose again to loosen up the stuck-together chunks of salt, and the pantyhose ripped apart, leaving a big mess of salt on the roof.  Yuck.

Salt Filled Pantyhose Day 4 #1
Salt Filled Pantyhose Day 4 #2

Pros: This is pretty safe.

Cons: Took way too long and didn't do much.  Waste of time.  I wonder if I can return the pantyhose to Walgreens?

Verdict: Better than nothing.

Heat Cables

For the record, heat cables aren't supposed to be placed directly on ice dams, but some people might try it anyway.  My friend did this at a house he owns in Saint Louis Park... so I took pictures.  These photos all show the heat cables after about one day.

Heat Cables #2

Note the creative way of keeping the cables from touching each other.  Pretty cool, huh?

Heat Cables #3
Heat Cables #4
Heat Cables #6

Pros: Gets the job done, and will prevent the formation of ice dams throughout the rest of the year.

Cons: Heat cables aren't made for this, and I'm sure the manufacturer would tell you that this poses some type of safety hazard.  Stringing up the cable was also very unsafe.  It's a good thing my friend owns a jet pack.

Verdict: Don't do this.

Blowtorch

I received a request to use a blowtorch on an ice dam, so I tried it.  You can see the video here.

Pros: You can tell your wife you tried everything, even a blowtorch.

Cons: Cold fingers, waste of propane, waste of time.

Verdict: I think you get the picture.

Summary

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  My favorite method was definitely the ice pick, but this was also very unsafe, and there's a good chance that the roof surface could get damaged this way.  I'd rather not have to deal with ice dams at all.

After a good snowfall, rake the snow off your roof.   This takes the least amount of effort and it's safe.  I've been asked whether a roof rake will damage the roof, and the answer is no.  A good roof rake will have little wheels at the bottom of the rake , which prevents the bottom of the rake from even touching the surface of the roof.  Rake away.

Roof Rake Head

As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, hiring a pro is certainly the best way to get rid of an ice dam.  The Ice Dam Company uses steam to get rid of ice dams, which is fast, safe, effective, and complete.

RELATED POST:

 

Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections

        

Comment balloon 57 commentsReuben Saltzman • December 14 2010 06:09AM

Comments

I hope next year for all our Minnesota pals, that summer comes on a weekend so you can enjoy it ! You would think that we would have ice dam companies here...if we do we don't know of any....but good idea !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 8 years ago

It will be interesting to see additional suggestions. Thanks for sharing your experience and tips.

 Happy Holidays!

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) almost 8 years ago

Sally & David - thank goodness this last snow storm came on a weekend.  If this had happened in the middle of the week, we would have been in big trouble.

Roy - thanks.  I posted everything I could think of.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 8 years ago

I've got one for you...move to Clayton, North Carolina, Ice Dams are illegal here!! My last clients moved from Lansing, MI and moved in last week, we are in a frigid cold spell down here and they were loving the warm weather!

Posted by David O'Doherty, Clayton NC Homes, Raleigh, NC (Raleigh Realty Inc) almost 8 years ago

Great investigative piece, Reuben. Ice dams are a pain, and you did a great job researching, testing and presenting the options.

My favorite option is paying a few bucks to my college-age nephew to deal with the problem... but your roof rake solution sounds better!

Posted by Jason Channell, The House Sleuth (Diadem Property Inspections - Serving Southeast Michigan) almost 8 years ago

Reuben,

Guess I've seen every one of the methods you noted. Growing up in New England, we had our share of ice dams. My father became an expert. He would hack almost all the way through the ice with an axe and then with a kettle, pour boiling water on the dam until it melted the rest of the way to the shingle. This worked and didn't damage the shingle, but climbing a ladder carrying a kettle of boiling water, now there's a mental image for you. He did that for years until I installed the heat cables the right way...in October before the snow and ice. Nothing beats prevention and "ice and water shield" is the way to go. Most of the roofers here in New Hampshire where I live just bite the bullet and install it with 100% roof coverage. Thanks for a great post.

Posted by John McCarthy, Realtor - Seacoast NH (Bean Group Portsmouth NH) almost 8 years ago

David - if the temperatures were anywhere close to freezing here in Minnesota, it would feel like a warm spell.

Jason - your solution sounds like a good one.  Better your nephew than you.

John - I have a thought that builds on your father's idea; crank up the heat on your water heater, connect a garden hose to a hot water supply, and have at it.  I thought about trying this, but I was too worried about making an icy mess on the side of my neighbors house.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 8 years ago

I wonder if we even have an ice dam removal company here? Love the pantyhose idea, I wish it would have worked better.  A man in my office was looking for pantyhose donations but it seems like that was in nice weather so he must have had another project.

Last year was horrible for ice dams.

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) almost 8 years ago

These are some excellent suggestions. It does seem like a lot of work, and perhaps risky too.

Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) almost 8 years ago

Which is one of the nice things about a quality builder who incorporates a lot of PITCH in the roof design. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Good Morning Reuben, thanks for sharing your input on ice dams. 

Posted by Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA (Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA) almost 8 years ago

I like this and will reblog for my consumers in Ann Arbor. The photos were great and really tell the story.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 8 years ago

Wow, Reuben, thanks for the primer!  You guys are really getting pounded.  Including your stadium!  Go back to Lambeau!

We had some exceptional ice dams last year.  That was the first time in a long time that we had such bad ones.  I have a blog on my website you might be able to share with your clients.

http://www.jaymarinspect.com/thermal-imaging-anatomy-of-an-ice-dam.html

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

P.s.  On Jim's post about the exposed service cables you mentioned an aluminum rake.  I didn't get that for a couple of days!  Now, after getting it, I see one here!  Now I really know...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Wow - very thorough research. Thanks very much for sharing.

Posted by Robert & Leslie Lang (Weichert, REALTORS® - McKee Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Reuben, a lot of good information here. Hopefully, here in Virginia we won't have a Winter like we did last year. Thanks.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 8 years ago

Great post!!  It's is just so informational and with the experiments and results really helps to make a good informed decision, thanks.

Posted by Kimberly Thurm, Broker / Relocation Consultant ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff, Naperville, IL) almost 8 years ago

Fortunately for us Southerners we don't haver this problem. Actually quite fascinating! Have never seen something like this and if I moved there would have had no idea what to do.

Posted by Scott Fogleman, New Home Team (New Home Team 804-573-9592) almost 8 years ago

Ruben--With that blowtorch idea you might want to have the number of the fire dept on speeddial and your cell phone handy...lol. We use the roof rake...without wheels...no shingle damage after years of use. Prevention is the best way to handle...Great post!

Posted by Teri Eckholm, REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro (Boardman Realty) almost 8 years ago

Luv the salt blocks,made that ice look like cheese. If that's what they were going for

Great insight to many methods,almost like Myth busters

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor - Homes For Sale - Franklin MA (Simolari & MacLean REMAX EXECUTIVE REALTY) almost 8 years ago

Reuben, As a long time resident and builder in Pequot Lakes, MN there is a simple solution for new construction, but a somewhat difficult issue for retrofits for this problem.

A. There is melt on the roof because heat inside the house escapes to the attic. You addressed this in another blog, but the heat loss that causes the most problem is the heat loss where the ceiling insulation meets the exterior wall. Most insulation installers do a lousy job here. The heat lost here goes directly to the roof just above the eave and causes the most snow melt.

B. A properly vented attic will stay cold and there will be no melting on the roof until spring. At that time the eaves should melt first.

C. To protect against melting at the exterior wall/ceiling juncture install baffles made for the purpose. They are designed to keep the insulation away from the roof under-surface and to allow maximum air flow from the soffit vents into the attic space keeping the roof cold and preventing snow melt and therefore preventing ice dams.

All other solutions are time and money wasted.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) almost 8 years ago

Hi Reuben,  I remember as a boy in Michigan having to go out and chip away at the ice.  Most people just let it build up and wish for the best.  Hope your Holiday Season is the best ever !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) almost 8 years ago

Reuben, you crack me up. We had a ton of them after our Snowpocalypses last year, and I actually had a client who did the rock salt in the panty hose and it worked well for her. Interesting it didn't work for you! I prefer to keep blowtorches away from my roof, so that's not even an option I would have considered... :) Great post!

Posted by Marney Kirk, Towson, Maryland Real Estate (Cummings & Co. Realtors) almost 8 years ago

I love this post!  I enjoyed it last year too but it is a great reminder.  You are on quite a roll buddy!

Posted by Jim Allhiser, Salem, Oregon Home Inspector (Perfection Inspection, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Reuben, you forgot the "strategic-bucket-wait-til-spring" method of ice-damn removal :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Great info Reuben, I get damn ice dams every year. The amount of, and size of dams have been reduced do to the work in the attic. The proper insulation and ventilation seems to help with the severity of my damn headaches with those dams.

When working on the dams I would try to use the sunny days in my favor.  If the ice can be cracked and reduced in thickness, the claw end of a hammer works great, then the sun will help in melting, making it easier to remove the rest with out damage to the roof.

Posted by T Doe almost 8 years ago

Great post & congrats on the feature!  I'm going to share this for my readers.  Wish we had home inspectors that blogged out here!  

Posted by Kathleen Cooper, Sposato Realty Group - Broker Owner (Kathleen Cooper, Sposato Realty Group) almost 8 years ago

Great post! Thanks for exploring the options and taking the risks for us!

Posted by Ben Rutt, Real Estate Agent Lancaster, PA (Keystone Custom Homes) almost 8 years ago

Thanks for this post.  Sometimes you can read about two different methods but to have all of themin one spot is very nice!  Thanks for the blog post I will deff. be using it!

Posted by Jimmy Gilley, (269) 362-4841 - Search Niles MI Home For Sale (Gold Star Realty) almost 8 years ago

Well done and well written.  I hate getting the ladder out in any kind of slippery condition....doens't mean I don't do it, just means I don't like it.  Around here we had a lot of ice damming and snow accumulations last year that ripped gutters off a good number of houses.  The roofers and gutter guys were pretty busy!  Nice post, thanks!

Posted by Joseph Michalski, PA Home Inspector (Precision Home Inspection) almost 8 years ago

What a trip...  Out in CA we don't really get ice ever...  maybe some frost on the grass outside, but that is it.  I wouldn't have the slightest idea what to do...

Posted by Chris Alston, Silicon Valley, California (Chris Alston (Keller Williams Realty, Silicon Valley, California)) almost 8 years ago

Fortunately we don't have to deal with that a lot here.  Last year we had record snowfall, but other than that it's a non issue most winters.  But, it's nice to have the knowledge for our next mega snow storm.

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) almost 8 years ago

Never heard of an Ice Dam but if I run across one I'll know what to do, i.e. call an expert.

Posted by Maureen Fukumoto, Maureen (Help-U-Sell Realty Pro) almost 8 years ago

Maureen - If you don't have an ice dam removal company yet, I bet you will soon.  There's going to be an article on this topic in the January issue of the Journal of Light Construction.  I couldn't help but laugh at the pantyhose donation thing.

Brian - yes, this is a ton of work.

Lenn - agreed, those roof just don't have the same problems.

Dan - thanks for reading.

Missy - thanks, I hope it helps them.

Jay - don't get me started on the stadium.  I haven't been to a Vikings game in about eight years, but I was supposed to go to that game on Sunday.  So much for that.  Good info on your web site, thanks for the link.

Valerie - axes work very quickly.

Robert & Leslie - it was fun :)

Michael - ditto.

Kimberly - after years of hearing different pieces of advice, I had to test all the methods out for myself. 

 

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 8 years ago

Scott - may you never have to deal with ice dams.

Teri - I agree, there's probably very little chance of damage to the roof, even with a standard roof rake.

Don - Mythbusters inspired this post.  That's my favorite show.

Glenn - those are all good tips to building an ice-dam-free home.

Bill - and most people are fine doing that... but not always.  This morning's inspection had massive water intrusion from ice dams.

Marney - hmmm, I may have to try the pantyhose thing again.  (I never thought I'd be saying that)

Jim - thanks :)

Charles - I just saw that at this morning's inspection.  Good chatting yesterday.

Thomas - oooh, I forgot to test out the claw end of a hammer.

Kathleen - thanks for sharing.  Just wait, you will have home inspectors blogging soon enough.  

 

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 8 years ago

Ben - thanks for reading.

Jimmy - glad to help.

Joseph - I think I'm going to be seeing a lot of that this year too.

Chris - rub it in ;)

Justin - see above.

Maureen - If you haven't had to hear about them, you probably have nothing to worry about.

 

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 8 years ago

Entertaining AND educational! Brings back memories of my Minnesota childhood. Don't often need that information in PA but we did last winter -- and this one is starting out the same way!

Posted by Jan Stevens (Coldwell Banker Pittsburgh) almost 8 years ago

Ice Dams. My first house, an insurance claim, happy memories brought back by reading your post.

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) almost 8 years ago

Jan - ours is starting out pretty brutal too.

Melissa - :)  so glad I could refresh those pleasant memories!

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 8 years ago

Insulation. Ventilation. Insulation. If a homeowner is going through this dangerous set of gyrations then a visit from a local insulation guy is essential.

Ice dams make me shivery.

17 years ago (the winter my son was born) a neighbor of my (now late) mother in law was killed poking away at ice dams with a broom handle at her home in PA. Snow and ice piled down on her and since she lived alone on a large property no one found her for a day. It was a lovely home on a lovely property, plenty of money was available -- what a very sad way to die from a preventable problem.

 

Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) almost 8 years ago

Leslie - WOW, what story.  My jaw is on the floor.  What a great anecdote about why you should hire a professional for this.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 8 years ago

This is truly awesome. I'm bookmarking this and will send out the link to all who need it.

I can only imagine after our large storm last week that this will be a huge problem for many folks real soon.

Thanks for all the hard work in set up, analysis, and reporting!

Posted by Nate Gerard, CDPE, East Metro Twin Cities Realtor (Keller Williams Premier) almost 8 years ago

That ICE MELT was hilarious.  Only melted in the exact size and diameter of the disk.  Too funny.  We don't get that c-c-c-c-c-c-c-cold here.  I can't even imagine having to deal with ice dams.  Interesting to learn about other parts of the nation. 

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) almost 8 years ago

Another great post with cool pictures. It's cold here this week in South Carolina but no snow yet! I actually heard a born and raised South Carolinian say yesterday, "It's too cold to snow." What?

 

Posted by Robert Slick, NRBA, RDCPro, Trident/CCAR MLS (Beach and River Homes) almost 8 years ago

Nate - thanks, I was just as interested in the different results.  

Carla - I know, right?  I always chuckle when I see those in peoples garages now.

Robert - Thanks!  Check this out: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2051/does-it-ever-get-too-cold-to-snow

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 8 years ago

Thanks, I wondered exactly what ice dams were.  I had a picture but never really understood it.

And nice pun on the awl.  LOL!

Posted by Jeremy Wrenn, President, Wrenn Home Improvements (Wrenn Home Improvements) almost 8 years ago

This must have taken FOREVER to write!  It's like a tutorial...lol

And you are dangerous close to a milestone yourself in points!

Cindy in Indy

Posted by Cindy Marchant, "Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate (Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 www.marchantteam.com) almost 8 years ago

Thank you. This is a very informative and interesting blog post.

Posted by Gabe Fitzhugh, REALTOR® (Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage) almost 8 years ago

Jeremy - I couldn't help myself with the awl pun.

Cindy - This did take a while, but I only write one blog a week.  I certainly couldn't do this every day!  Yes, I'll get another one of those cool little badges really soon!

Gabe - thanks for reading.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 8 years ago

It was good.  I totally enjoyed the "awl"ful pun.  :)

Posted by Jeremy Wrenn, President, Wrenn Home Improvements (Wrenn Home Improvements) almost 8 years ago

Reuben, thanks for the in depth post.  You're always a great source of excellent information!

Posted by Frank Cawley Nebraska Home Inspector (BrickKicker Inspection Services) almost 8 years ago

Jeremy - thanks :)

Frank - glad to help.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 8 years ago

Reuben, as you well know, the Tudors in Minneapolis are prone to ice dams because of roof angles. I have one spot where the gutter filters water through my bathroom window when it begins to thaw.  This week water started dripping through the bathroom vent.  It is 10 degrees out, and the first floor bath floor was soaked from water filtering through the vent.  It MAKES ME CRAZY!  Can't picture me on a ladder on the 2nd floor with an ice pick at 10 degrees.

Posted by Mary Jo Quay (Remax Results) almost 8 years ago

Mary Jo - I sure do.  I bet you have some wicked ice dams at bottoms of the valleys, right?  That water is probably leaking in through the vent because it's actually in the ceiling, and the hole in your ceiling for the vent is the first place the water has to drip out.   I took a great photo of this same thing happening just a couple days earlier this week, and posted it on the Structure Tech business page - http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=476943334225&set=a.404565154225.183657.77586164225 .  This house had water dripping out of the bathroom fan, but as you can see from the thermal image, most of the water was in the ceiling and wall.

I'm guessing that's what's happening at your house.  I've done a lot of ice dam inspections lately...

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 8 years ago

You better get back out there and take more photos.  The icicles are now several feet long, and dripping like mad forming a thick sheet of ice on top of the snow.

My problem is where the knee wall meets dormer forming an acute angle trickling into one downspout that looks like Minnehaha Falls with six foot icicles.   Every Tudor in town seems to have the same problems. There is no way I'm trecking up to the 2nd floor via shaky ladder, ice pick in mitten, to attack ice blocks in clogged gutters.

Got a better solution?

 

Posted by Mary Jo Quay (Remax Results) over 7 years ago

Mary Jo - I've taken so many photos in the last week!  I've never seen ice dams this bad, or heard from so many people that have water leaking in to their house.  

If you'd like to share a photo of your icicles / ice dam with me, I'd use it for a blog that I'll be posting on Tuesday.

Really, your best solution is to contact an ice dam removal company.  If you can't wait for them, do the nylon stocking thing and lay them perpendicular to the ice dams; this will at least create channels for the water to drain out.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 7 years ago

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.917626821614901.1073741831.124160640961527&type=1

Posted by David Valley over 3 years ago

Participate