Question Posted on an Ice Dam Problem

By Robert Robillard on Home Maintenance

Ice Dam Problem

Preventing Ice Dams From Causing A Roof Leak

  Hi Rob, Forgive me if you’ve already posted something on this topic, but our neighbor came by last night to borrow a snow rake because they had an ice dam problem that had sprung a leak in their house.

They ultimately ripped out half the wallboard in their house and are currently trying to dry the place out, but any advice on:

  1. What to do once you have a problem – especially in the middle of winter
  2. How to avoid them in the first place?

This post offers a few tips, but thought you might have more.  Best, Eric S

Ice Dam Prevention

Hi Eric,

Thanks for your question. If the house has an active leak the best way to stop it is to SAFELY put a ladder up on the roof and “chip” channels in the ice to allow the water behind the ice dam to drain.

Most times there is NO NEED to rip open walls if this is the first leak, and it is dealt with immediately – things will dry out. I would only rip open a wall if it had been leaking for sometime. There is a concern for mold.

Check out this past post on Ice Dam Prevention.



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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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