Oh the lovely winter months in Minnesota. There should be a home owning class on all the good, the bad and the ugly that come with having a house. While there are things to do to prevent ice dams, if it wasn't done by this time of the winter, it's probably too late. Here's how to get rid of ice dams, and prevent further damage to your home.

I'm not a professional obviously. This is only my second year as a homeowner. My husband actually bought something (some type of wire gutter warmers) to prevent said ice dams, but unfortunately we were late to the party. So I've been doing a lot of research, and came upon a few good articles that I thought I'd share.

Ice dams happen when poor insulation under a roof causes snow to melt, trickle down the roof towards the gutter, freeze up and build up into a dam. Once that happens, excess water can go back into a home, causing damage. -WCCO

How to get rid of them?

  • Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small chucks with a blunt mallet NOT a sharp tool like an ax.
  • Clear out gutters and downspouts.
  • Melt troughs through the ice dam with calcium chloride ice melter. Home Partners recommends NOT using rock salt because of the damage it can do to the house. You can actually buy a kit at Home Depot.
  • OR call a professional!!

Scraping the snow off the roof every time it falls can help, or replacing shingles with a metal roof is also helpful. According to an Ice Dam company turning down the heat when you don't need it, and replacing light bulbs with LED will help keep the snow on the roof from melting.

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