If your roof is prone to ice dams forming in the winter, it can lead to a big problem when it causes roof damage. This is because as snow begins to melt on your roof, it will get trapped in patches of snow that haven't fully thawed. The water will then refreeze, causing ice buildup that can deform shingles and create leaks. You can prevent ice dams from forming by raking snow off the roof, but avoid making any of these mistakes in the process.

Using The Wrong Rake

Don't make the mistake of using the rake that you just finished using to clean up leaves in the fall. It simply cannot do the job properly due to how the rake is slated. It will clear only a portion of the snow on each pass, and create clumps of snow that come tumbling down. The metal edges of a leaf rake will also run the risk of scratching the shingles.

Invest in buying an actual snow rake. It has a flat edge on the end that is much like a shovel, along with an extendable handle so that you can clear the snow from ground level. Do not try to use a short rake while standing on a ladder, as the slippery ground conditions can make this very dangerous.

Start Raking From The Bottom

Your goal is to prevent ice dams, not finish the job as quickly as possible. You can cause more problems by ranking from the very top of the roof down to the bottom to clear a section in a single pass. This will pull a large amount of snow across your roof at once, which will be very heavy. This could cause damage to the overhangs, or create an avalanche of snow coming off the roof.

Always start by cleaning off a section of snow near the gutters, then work your way up the roof.

Do Not Forcefully Crack Visible Ice Patches

It is always best to pull the snow and ice off your roof with the rake, though there may be patches of ice that are stuck to the roof beneath the snow. Avoid whacking these patches of ice with a rake to crack and remove them, as it may damage the shingles beneath it. With the snow on top of the ice gone, the ice patch should be able to get enough direct sunlight to safely melt the ice patch.

If you follow these tips, you should be able to prevent ice dams and the roof damage they cause. To find out more, contact a business like All American Roofing Incorporated.