Ice DammingThe professionals at Crafty Beaver want you to keep your home protected and warm this winter in Chicago and Skokie. Icicles look pretty hanging from your gutters, but they’re also among your home’s worst advarsaries. When it begins to warm up, Ice can melt and pool behind hanging icicles on your roof. These ice dams can create serious issues for your home and roof, causing water to recess back up under your tiles. Eventually, that water can leak through your ceiling, causing damage to the roof and interior walls.

1. Adhesive Ice & Water Barrier

An adhesive ice-and-water barrier is a type of self-sealing underlayment that adheres to the roof decking and waterproofs it. You then place roof slates over the top of it. It’s required by building code in most regions. Adding the ice-and-water barrier is an expensive project if you have to tear up an otherwise sound roof, but it’s cost-effective insurance when you have to re-roof. Ask your local building inspector how far you should run it up the roof in your region.

2. Heated Roof Cables

De-icing cables melt passageways for water to flow off the roof and prevent ice dams. They should be installed along the edge of the roof, where ice tends to form. We here at Crafty Beaver are a great resource for any questions you may have

3. Roof Rake

Another ice dam prevention product is a Ice rake. A roof rake is an aluminum scraper mounted at a right angle on a telescoping aluminum pole. Use the snow rake to clean the snow off your roof so it cannot form into an ice dam. This is one of the easiest solutions for occasional heavy snows. However, a snow rake is only effective for single-story homes. Never use a snow rake while on a ladder. Also be careful to not break the shingles. Due to the cold weather, the roof shingles are more brittle in the cold.

4. The Best Tools to Keep On-Hand

Have all your materials ready ahead of time. Be sure to keep all the necessary tools on-hand for any DIY project to prevent an even worse ice dam catastrophe — you’ll save lots of time and frustration by getting them early before the winter storms hit. But if you do need something during the storm…know we are here in Chicago and Skokie to help you prevent that ice dam. Here’s our list for winter readiness:

  • Air compressor
  • Air hose
  • Dust mask
  • Extension ladder
  • Hammer
  • Pry bar
  • Roof harness
  • Utility knife
  • Caulk
  • Expanding foam
  • Heat cables
  • Ice and water barrier
  • Insulation
  • Roof Vent
  • Soffit Vent

air compressor

5. Install Proper Insulation and Venting in the Attic

  • Seal up attic bypasses
  • Inspect your attic’s insulation levels
  • Add roof and soffit vents

Additional Ice Melting Tips!

If the temperature is 5° F or warmer, regular rock salt is as good as anything. Salt lowers the freezing point of water to this temperature. Below 5° F, opt for a salt blend. Look for a product containing calcium chloride, which can melt ice in temperatures as low as -25° F.

So… stop by Crafty Beaver in Chicago and Skokie for all of the tools, winter items, ice melt, shovels, insulation, heating cables and more! Ask for an associate to show you just where to find everything to get you on the right track.