Do you notice icicles hanging off of your roof? Although the icicles might look gorgeous, they're an indication of the presence of ice dams. As snow melts, ice dams are the ice that form at the edge of the roof. They basically prevent the ice from melting properly, and the water that backs up from the ice dams can cause substantial and significant water damage to the internal structures of your home, such as the walls, floors, ceiling, insulation, and more. If you notice ice dams forming, one of the first things you should do is to contact a roofing professional. Before the roofing contractor arrives to perform a permanent fix to your problem, here are 3 quick fixes you can try to prevent the situation from worsening.
Remove the Snow that Has Accumulated on the Roof
The water damage to the internal structures of your house is a result from backed up water coming from the ice and snow. To prevent the water damage from worsening, one of the simplest things you can do is to simply remove any snow that has accumulated on your roof. Without snow, there's nothing to melt, and there won't be a chance for water damage to even occur. It's crucial that you only remove snow if the conditions allow and if it's safe. You should avoid going up to the room yourself, as you might slip.
While there are many methods you can use to remove the snow that has accumulated on your roof, one of the easiest things you can try is to use a rake to simply knock off as much snow as possible. You can even try using a pole or any type of extension that will allow you to access the roof without actually getting on it.
Blow in Cold Air to Freeze the Water
You can also prevent water damage from ice dams from worsening by freezing the melted water, so that it turns into ice instead. Once the water has become ice, it can no longer seep further into the internal structures of your home and cause further water damage. Find a fan or even a portable air conditioning unit and turn it on in your attic. Face the device to the underside of the roofing, and target any water stains that you see. If this trick works, you'll notice that the water stains won't get larger. The ice basically acts as a plug and prevents any more melted water from dripping into the internal infrastructure of your home.
You should also consider circulating cold air in your attic just in case. By cooling the air, you'll be able to freeze any melted water that you can't see before it can cause any significant damage.
Seal Any Leaks, Cracks, or Holes Between Living Spaces and the Space Below Roof Sheathing
Another method you can try before the roofing professionals arrive is to seal any leaks, cracks, or holes between the living spaces and the spaces below the roof sheathing. There's a good chance that the air in the living spaces is heated. The heated air will travel to the spaces below the roof sheathing and basically accelerate the rate that the snow melts. This causes more water to enter the internal structures of your home and potentially cause further water damage.
You can seal off the holes, cracks, and leaks with just about any type of material you want; however, caulk is usually a popular, simple, and efficient solution. Sealing off the holes, cracks, and leaks also reduces overall energy loss in your home, which helps to reduce the cost of your energy bills.
The 3 quick fixes mentioned above are not permanent by any means, although they can prevent the water damage from worsening. You still need to contact a roofing contractor to repair your roof in order to prevent ice dams from forming in the future. Don't wait to call, as the situation will only worsen with time.