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Ice dams are a problem because they prevent water from flowing to your gutters, causing it to back up onto your roof. Eventually, water trapped by ice dams will seep into the shingles and cause leaks. So how do you safely remove the ice dams? 

Here are the different ice dam removal methods and their respective pros and cons: 

Ice Dams

Chip Away at Ice Dams to Create an Opening for Trapped Water 

Using an ice pick or awl, chip away at ice dams to create an opening that’s just big enough to allow water to drain into the gutters. This is the most straightforward method, but contractors don’t usually recommend it. That’s because you may end up inadvertently damaging parts of your roof while chipping away at the ice. 

Use Calcium Chloride to Melt the Ice 

Fill a nylon stocking with calcium chloride, a chemical used for deicing pavements, seal both ends, and place it on a location on your roof that’s perpendicular to its edges. It’s safer to use a rake instead of climbing a ladder. 

Important note: Don’t forget to cover the shrubs and plants underneath your roof with a plastic tarp to protect them from chemical runoff. 

Preventing Ice Dams 

How do you keep ice dams from coming back? By keeping your gutters free of leaves, twigs, and other debris. Remember: routine gutter maintenance is a must if you want to keep your roof in good condition. If you just don’t have the time to clean your gutters and want more convenience while doing gutter maintenance, there’s the option of installing rain gutter guards and heating cables. 

Gutter guards prevent leaves and other debris from entering your gutters, reducing their maintenance needs while heating cables increase your gutter’s temperature to prevent ice dams from forming. Keep in mind gutter guards can only reduce, not eliminate, your gutter’s maintenance needs. That is except for Gutter Helmet®, the only gutter guard on the market with the Never Clean Your Gutters Again® guarantee. 

Gutter Helmet rain gutter guards are also fully compatible with Helmet Heat® heating cables. To learn more about their features or request a free quote, call Gutter Helmet of Minnesota at (866) 200-5339 or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Monticello as well as the surrounding communities in Minnesota. 

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