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4 Ways to Manage and Remove Ice Dams

January 5, 2022 | 3 min. read

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One of the most severe issues to tackle during the winter months is ice dams.

Just when you think winter cannot be any worse than icy roads and less-than-ideal temperatures, ice dams come along.

If you have been struggling to remove or manage ice dams, then you are not alone. Rescue My Roof has spent over a decade helping people who share the same struggles. We’ve helped them alleviate their ice dams – and we’re going to help you, too. 

In this article, we will be going over four ways you can manage and remove ice dams. In the end, you will know precisely how to tackle ice dam removal and maintenance like a pro. 

How Do You Remove Ice Dams?

Unless you are a professional roofer, it may be impossible to eliminate ice dam issues completely. However, there are four things you can do to lessen their impact.

Here are four things you can do in the winter to keep ice dam issues at a minimum: 

1. Invest in a Roof Rake

Roof Rake for Ice Dam Removal

A roof rake can aid in removing excess snow from your roof.

Roof rakes look like a shovel with a very long handle so that you can reach the very peak of your roof. Using the head of it, you can gently scrape the snow off of your roof. 

Snow build-up on your roof will eventually melt. And if the temperatures are still cold enough, it will freeze near your gutters and cause ice dams.

Keeping the snow on your roof to one to two inches will minimize the chance of ice dams.

Are you looking for the perfect roof rake to help manage ice dams? We recommend finding one with wheels, so the roof’s shingles are not damaged. You can find one here

2. Conducting an Energy Audit

If winter hasn’t hit yet, now is your chance. Conduct an energy audit to see if you have proper roof ventilation. 

An energy audit uses an infrared thermometer camera to seek out the hot and cold spots in your attic. Not only will a high number of extreme hot or cold areas indicate that your ventilation needs an update, but it will let you know if you need to seal off any areas where drafts may be coming in. 

Once you fix any problem areas, it will be easier to heat and cool your home – saving you money on energy bills.

Additionally, taking the time to find any problem areas also helps to keep your roof at an even temperature. This decreases the chance of snow melting near the top of your roof and refreezing near the bottom.

If an energy audit isn’t your thing, you can contact a local roofing contractor to conduct one for you. 

Ice Dam Steam Removal


There are two official ways to remove ice dams: removing them with a mallet or using a steam machine.

Using a pellet to smash away additional ice can harm your roof. It can result in missing, cracked, and ineffective shingles.

Using a steamer is the only safe and effective option for removing ice dams. 

You can purchase a steamer here, or you can call in a roofing professional who offers those services.

While it may be more expensive to pay a professional than trying to DIY it, you will see better results and know that your roof is in good hands.

4. Use Heating Cables to Minimize Ice Dams

Heating cables are a good option for minimizing ice dams if you notice they are beginning to build up.

Heat cables are plugged into an energy source and then attached to the roof. The cables heat up and melt the surrounding ice and snow.

This method of ice dam remediation does have some drawbacks. Heating cables are not pleasing to the eye and may detract from curb appeal. Additionally, you may see a slight increase in your energy bills.

However, if you want a low-maintenance option for dealing with ice dams, this method may be for you. 

Ice Dam Removal

Ice dams can be difficult to manage and cause harmful side effects to your home. Gutter and shingle damage, leaks, and more can occur when you leave ice dams untreated.

However, utilizing roof rakes, energy audits, heating cables, and steamers are all excellent ways to manage ice dams.

Want to learn more about ice dams? You can visit “What Are Ice Dams? (Causes, Prevention, and Solutions)” and “4 Consequences of Having Too Much Snow on Your Roof.

Are you struggling with ice dams in the greater Milwaukee area? Rescue My Roof offers ice dam remediation services, utilizing our state-of-the-art steamers to get the job done right.

Contact us today to get a free estimate and ask about our ice dam removal services.