Icicles. They may be beautiful, but they can also be a warning sign about problems with your roof, eavestrough and home.

Earlier this week, the team from BestCan Home Renovations fielded a phone call about an ice dam. The caller wondered if his gutters were the culprit of a forming ice dam.

Can Gutters Cause an Ice Dam?

ice dam ottawaIn answer to the callers question, our team queried when the last time home’s gutters had been cleaned. You see, fall leaves and other debris can not only clog up an eavestrough system during the warmer months, but cause stagnant water to freeze in the winter months. On warmer days when snow melts from a roof, the water has nowhere to flow. Therefore, during the next freezing cycle, an ice dam begins to form. Rather quickly, this ice dam forces water back up into your shingles, roof structure and supports – resulting in damage to insulation, walls, ceilings and even floors.

Got an Ice Dam? Get Help!

Ice dams should be addressed as soon as they appear. And since removing an ice dam means ladder work, it is best to seek out a licensed and insured roofing professional for assistance.

Methods employed for clearing an ice dam vary in Ottawa. Some firms will manually remove the dam by breaking the ice into small chunks. It is a slow process, since the work is done by hand to ensure no shingle damage occurs. Another popular process is by melting the ice dam with calcium chloride ice melter. Please note this is NOT rock salt and you should never throw ice melting chemicals on your roof without guidance from a professional. The use of an improper material could result in shingle decay, damage to metals, paints and even your landscaping materials on the ground.