Chalk Up Another Victory Over Ice Damming

Posted by in Roof, Winter Concerns | March 03, 2014

In case you have been one of the lucky ones that hasn’t noticed, the weather conditions were pretty good for ice damming and leakage from ice damming during the middle parts of February 2014 in the Cleveland Ohio Metropolitan area.  There was plenty of snow accumulations on the roofs.  Temperatures were just warm enough, or cold enough, to allow the underlying snow to melt and drain down to the gutters and freeze.  With the gutters full of ice, subsequent snow melt was unable to flow off the roof, but collected in pools behind the ice dams.  To make matters worse, repeated significant snow accumulations were providing additional reserves for later snow melt.

What is a home owner to do?

On one of the roofs I monitor during the winter months I followed the advice in our article Stopping an Actively Leaking Ice Dam.  Shortly after each snowfall I raked snow off the lower portions of the roof slope behind above the eaves of concern.  I observed that the little bit of sunshine we received melted the remnants of snow on the shingles so that any snow melt that flowed down the slope during the day evaporated before reaching the gutter and any that flowed down during the night froze on the roof surface, evaporating on the next sunny day.

The method was successful – no leakage reported or observed.  With the recent increase in temperatures the ice dam has melted.

Now I await with roof rake in hand for the next battle in March.  See the featured photo for the roof rake that I purchased from Home Depot in Bainbridge a number of years ago.