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Durango, Colorado has the perfect conditions for homes to get ice dams. With harsh winters, cold weather, and a lot of snow and ice, it’s almost inevitable that your home can get an ice dam. But, what is an ice dam, can you prevent it, and how do you get rid of it? Those are all great questions that our roofing experts are happy to answer. So grab a warm beverage, and a cozy blanket, sit back, and find out everything you didn’t know you wanted to know about ice dams.

Ice dams are caused when the heat from your home rises and causes the snow and ice on your roof to start melting. As the water runs down your roof and reaches cooler spots on your roof and your gutters it will refreeze causing the remaining water to refreeze in large chunks. While it may seem harmless to have frozen roof water on your roof, the damage it can cause is devastating. It’s important to know what an ice dam looks like so you can take action when you see one. If you have icicles on the side of your home behind your gutters and a lot of snow and ice buildup that forms a ridge on the edge of the roof that is an ice dam. You also want to look for water or ice inside or around window frames, visible ice or water on your home’s siding, or ice emerging from your exterior vents along your roof. Ice dams can become extremely heavy causing extra weight to your roof. This can lead to leaks, water damage, rust, gutters detaching from the home, and even a sagging roof. Your home can be more susceptible to ice dams if you have poor attic insulation, clogged gutters, or a lack of snow removal from your house. The winters in Durango can be rough, so it’s important to make sure your roof is ready for the harsh winters. You can call the roofing experts at Farha Roofing for a free inspection on your roof to ensure you’re ready for winter, or if you want to make sure your roof isn’t damaged after a major winter storm.

How can you prevent ice dams? There isn’t a guaranteed way to prevent them. However, you can take steps to minimize the chances of an ice dam forming on your roof. One of the best ways to minimize your chances of an ice dam is to thoroughly clean all leaves, sticks, and other debris from your gutters and downspouts. This allows the water from the melting ice and snow to properly flow through the gutters and downspouts lessening the chance for water to pool in a clogged gutter. You’ll want to check your gutters and downspouts often during the winter to ensure they stay clear of debris.  After a large snowstorm try to remove as much snow from your roof as you can. You can purchase a roof rake, or call your Durango office at Farha Roofing and we can come rake your roof for you. The less snow on your roof, the less there is to melt away and possibly form an ice dam. The final way to help prevent ice dams is making sure the insulation and ventilation in your attic are good. If you have poor insulation it will allow the heat to escape from your attic, and proper ventilation allows the air in the attic to stay cold enough to minimize the freeze/thaw cycle on your roof.

So you have an ice dam. Now what do you do? You have a few options. You can purchase a chemical de-icer from a hardware store, get up on your roof, fill a nylon sock with the de-icer and lay it vertically on the edge of your roof. This will eventually make a path for the rest of the water to flow through and off your roof. However, getting up on an icy roof can be very dangerous. Another option you have is to call Farha Roofing. Our award-winning roofers can remove your ice dams and protect your roof. Once you call us about your ice dam, we will send out our ice dam removal crew. We will just need access to a water source and electricity. Our system uses steam to cut/melt the ice away. There will be quite a bit of water produced from the ice melting, but after we are done we will clean up as best we can, break down our machine, and leave you with your clear roof. This saves you from having to get up on your roof on a ladder when it’s cold and slick outside. If you notice a leak after the ice dam is removed we can send out our local Durango roofers to do a free inspection on your roof and let you know what will be needed to repair or replace your roof. Don’t wait until the winter season is over to have your ice dam removed. Let our professional and experienced ice dam removal specialists take care of your roof.