Today everyone seemed to be having issues with ice dams clogging their gutters causing all sorts of water problems in their homes. Melting water from your roof hits your gutters and refreezes when temperatures are below freezing for an extended period of time. Most water flows over the ice forming icicles, but it slowly builds up until the water begins to flow back into your home.
Isn’t gravity cool?
If you are planning to climb a ladder to pull out the ice, then bring up some table salt. Kosher salt is also effective in breaking up the ice. Making some room for sunlight to hit the area is also essential because you want that to help get the water moving down the downspout and away from your home.
Use Table or Kosher Salt in to break up ice
It is important to understand that your down spouts need to be clear so that they can drain any water and allow fresh air to reach the top easily. In a post in December after a snow storm dumped 20″+ on Vienna, Virginia, I mentioned the same issues when preparing for winter storms and the rapid melting that takes place.
I removed this section of the downspout that was clogged and about 15 feet of perfect ice came down in sections. I used a mallet to break up the sections but was amazed at the extent of the blockage in the downspout.
Most professional roofers, if you can reach them, can’t do too much right now to save your home. But they will tell you to make sure the gutter drains are clear, use table or kosher salt to break up the ice, flush with hot water if possible, be extremely careful climbing any ladders, and understand that an insurance claim may be in order after everything has melted.