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Preventing Ice Dams in your Michigan Home

Preventing Ice Dams in your Michigan Home

Ice and snow are our closest neighbors here in Michigan, but as with all neighbors, we don’t particularly like them living on our roof. Ice dams are a problem for Monroe homeowners, and can cause serious damage if left unattended. For those unaware, an ice dam is when ice builds up in or around your gutter, leaving no room for water to properly pass through. This creates large build-ups of water and snow on your roof and can leak into your home if the ice dam hasn’t been cleared. Instead of waiting for an ice dam to nest itself on top of your home, you should prevent it from ever forming. Preventing ice dams altogether clears both your roof and mind; all you need to know are the right practices.

The professionals at Iceberg Heating & Cooling know a thing or two about ice dams, specifically how to prevent them from damaging your home. Our experience in home services gives us the knowledge to keep the winter enjoyable and your home free of ice dams. With that said, here are some tactics for preventing ice dams in your Michigan home.

Clear Gutters and Downspout

  • Clogged gutters mean melted snow cannot leave your roof adequately.
  • Leaves and debris can build up in your gutters and downspout, and with little room for water and snow to pass through, ice dams will start to form.
  • Unclog the downspout with a water hose, and remove any debris around the drain.
  • Use a gutter cleaning tool to clear out any leaves and debris.
  • Do not attempt to use a ladder to clean your gutter during a winter storm, or when there is ice and snow on the ground.

Clear Snow with a Roof Rake

  • Use a roof rake to gently remove snow piled on your roof, as stopping build-up will give less chance for ice dams to form.
  • Be careful not scrape or damage any shingles when using a roof rake.
  • If the snow has hardened and can’t be moved, use hot water to allow easier raking, but make sure the water passes through the gutter.

Install Roof De-icing Cables

  • De-icing cables warm up when they detect moisture and freezing temperatures, and help melt ice off your roof.
  • Place the cables along the most snow-susceptible sides of your roof.
  • Do not use a ladder during a winter storm, or when there is ice and snow on the ground.
  • De-icing cables require power, so you must plan carefully where and how to place them.
  • If roof-deicing cables are installed, be careful not to damage them with a roof rake or gutter cleaning tool.

Maintain Roof Temperature

  • The common cause of ice dams is poor temperature distribution on your roof.
  • If your roof gives both hot and cold temperatures, snow landing on your roof will first melt, then refreeze into ice, leading to an ice dam.
  • Before checking insulation, remember to wear protective goggles, masks, clothes, and gloves, and do not touch any insulation without consulting a professional.
  • Check your attic insulation for adequate airflow and distribution.
  • Air leaks are common if your roof has been recently installed, or your insulation is very old.
  • Check for air leaks and close off any you find with insulating spray foam.
  • If your attic ventilation seems to be working properly, the problem could be with the heater itself, in which case you should contact Iceberg for a heating professional to diagnose the problem.

Keep the ice dams away from your Michigan home with our ice dam prevention methods. If your heating system is not working properly and causing ice dams, contact Iceberg Heating & Cooling for affordable heating services to help diagnose the problem. Give us a call at (734) 375-1119 to meet the only Iceberg you’ll be happy to see.

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