I just noticed that I have a pretty large ice dam forming on my roof (will post pictures later).

I am just wondering, is there anything I can do to remove the ice? It has completely filled the eavestrough on one section of the house.

I have not seen any noticeable warm spots on the roof (i.e. melting regions). We have been having warm, cold, warm, cold weather, followed by snow; which I am sure doesn't help anything.

I understand that to prevent it from happening in the future, would be to better insulate the attic (I also have wooden soffits, which likely doesn't help anything). Next year, I will invest in a roof snow shovel. I think the main culprit has been the stupid weather (melt, freeze, melt, freeze).

Should I just let the ice dam resolve, or should I do something to remove the ice?


It may seem counter-intuitive, but you can simply run a garden hose up there and melt it off. By working from the bottom up you'll be less likely to force water through the roofing and cause a leak.

You don't want to use hard tools on your roof if you can help it. Shingles don't last long when you do.

  • No, no, no. Don’t tempt fate. Running a garden hose will find a pin-hole leak, hole in moisture barrier or building paper that’s not lapped and sealed properly. – Lee Sam Mar 20 '18 at 1:10
  • And rain won't? – isherwood Mar 20 '18 at 1:26
  • Exactly. Why force it? – Lee Sam Mar 20 '18 at 2:14

I fill socks with ice melt. I tie the socks shut with string and leave the string 10 or 15 feet lengths. I then throw the socks onto the roof and use the string to drag the socks to the edge of the roof.


I poured ice melt from the bag right onto the shelf of the ice dam. When there was a little sunshine to help ice melt the product worked well to knock down the ice dam.

One issue with this approach is that a lot of the salt compound ends up on the ground at the base of the house wall. The high salt concentration may keep plants from growing there for the next season.

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