Winter came early in Minnesota this year, which had us firing up snowblowers, digging out shovels and scrapers, and preparing for another season of snow removal. No matter how early or how much it snows, our reliably cold winters always bring the risk of ice dams and roof damage.
What Is An Ice Dam?
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of the roof, usually at soffit or gutters. When the ice forms, it prevents water (from melted snow) from draining off the roof. Water then backs up behind the dam and can leak into the home, damaging ceilings, walls, and more.
How to Prevent Ice Dams
The best way to prevent ice dams is to keep the roof clear of snow. A roof rake will help you reach those high areas without having to scale a ladder in cold or snowy weather. Follow these steps to rake your roof safely:
- Clear a path around house by retracing your steps to pack the snow down. This will allow you to walk on the snow, instead of having to trudge through deep snow and potentially fall into holes.
- Starting on the left side of the house, clear the overhangs first. Pull down a foot or so of snow at a time, working your way toward the peak of the roof.
- Pull down on the rake with a slight tug until you clear the gutter. Gravity will help the snow fall!
- Shift to the right and repeat this process for each section of snow until you’ve made it around the house.
- Be mindful of where the snow falls as you pull it down. You’ll need to shovel new snow from driveways and walkways, so don’t let it pile up too high in one area.
Because you’ll only need to rake your roof a few times per year, depending on snowfall amounts, it may make more sense to rent a roof rake rather than buy one. We rent in daily and weekly time periods to meet your needs.
From trailers to scaffolding, trimmers and mowers, saws, skid steers and more, Broadway Rental has the affordable rental tools and equipment you need for your next lawn and garden or remodeling project. Check out our full Minneapolis rental equipment catalog to find the right tools, and get in touch to get started today.
(This is an updated blog post that was originally published in February 2016.)