What should we do about an ice dam on our roof?

Just before Christmas our dining room ceiling suddenly began to leak. Our house is a tri-level and the leak was below the area where the two roofs meet. Like much of the nation we are currently experiencing extreme cold and snow. My fear is that when temperatures begin to warm it will happen again. What is the proper response:
  • Now: Is there a proper way to address the snow-covered roof?
  • Later: before we pursue ceiling repair, what should be done in the attic (replace wet insulation, etc)?
  • Is there away to prevent future damage and should the work be done by professionals?
Thank you.

  3 answers
  • Shoshana Shoshana on Jan 04, 2018
    It may be possible to remove the snow and ice from your sloped roof using a roof rake – a long-handled tool designed specifically for this purpose. Stand on the ground and pull as much of the snow off the eaves as you can safely reach.

  • Kelly Denoyer Russell Kelly Denoyer Russell on Jan 04, 2018
    First get on the roof and shovel it off or buy a roof rake shovel and remove from the ground. Next if you have ice dams get salt that is safe for your roof and put it up there. You can sprinkle or fill tube socks with it and lay them where you need. Do this when you start to see some melting. Don’t bother if temps are really cold. Remember often roof salt is damaging to plants below. If you have something expensive or above ground then protect it. If it’s flowers that don’t come up til spring don’t worry. Going forward.....adequate ventilation and insulation in attic is needed. Check both. Make sure gutters are always free of leaves and debris after fall. Lastly if it remains an issue and you’ve checked and done all the other things then add heating wires on last foot of roof edge including running one wire in the gutter itself.

  • Bernice Voordouw Bernice Voordouw on Jan 04, 2018
    Go to Canadian Tire and buy the cables designed for this situation.