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How to Get Rid of Ice Dams Fast

Snow and icicles on roof edge

Icicles hanging from a roof can be pretty, but they can also be a sign of a problem. Ice dams can damage your roof and the inside of your home if you don’t take care of them quickly. Luckily, we can tell you how to get rid of ice dams fast!

How to Get Rid of Ice Dams Fast

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms on the edge of a roof. It’s caused by heat under the roof that makes snow melt, dripping down to the gutters. Once that melted snow reaches the gutters, the cold air causes it to refreeze. The water backing up behind the ice dam can damage your roof and leak into your house, causing mold and other problems. 

As with many home maintenance issues, the easiest way to deal with ice dams is to prevent them from happening in the first place. You can do this in a number of ways, such as raking snow off the roof. 

Before you attempt to remove an ice dam from your roof, it is important to do your research. Going up on a ladder and chipping the ice away might seem like a good idea, but you’re likely to harm your roof with the repeated impact of the tool. Salting your roof also seems like a common-sense solution. Unfortunately, rock salt is highly corrosive when it melts and can harm your roof, as well as any plants or animals that come in contact with the runoff. 

If you aren’t sure what you’re doing, we recommend calling a roofing professional to help you make a plan that will keep you safe and your roof intact. However, let’s say you’re unable to get that plan in place before the next blizzard hits. No problem! Scroll down to learn how to get rid of ice dams fast.

Roof De-Icer

While we do not recommend rock salt for ice dam removal, there are some products that are similar but safer. Roof melt tablets are made of calcium chloride, so they will not harm your roof. Best of all, there’s no ladder or other equipment required to use them. Just toss them up into your gutters and they should work quickly to melt the ice dam away. Be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging!

Hot Water

If you can run a hose from a hot water tap to a place where your roof is accessible, you can gently run hot water over the ice dam to slowly melt it away. While this method is somewhat effective, there are several drawbacks. First, the water must be hot enough to melt the ice without refreezing on the roof, where it can actually cause a secondary ice dam! Second, it takes a fair amount of time to do effectively. Third, if the ice dam on your roof has caused a leak, adding gallons of hot water to the mix can make the damage worse. However, if you have time to do this and are not concerned about exacerbating any leak damage, it can work.

Although some people recommend using a pressure washer to remove an ice dam, we do not encourage this technique as it can seriously damage your roof. 

Call in the Professionals

If neither of these options are feasible, it’s probably time to call in the professionals. Ice dam removal experts know how to get rid of ice dams fast. This is the safest, easiest, and fastest option to remove an ice dam from your roof. If you’re hesitant about trying the other methods, or you have tried them and they haven’t worked, get professional help before the damage gets worse. 


When discussing how to get rid of ice dams fast, the best option is always to make sure that you don’t have to worry about it in the first place. Put some time into maintaining your roof and preventing ice dams. We’re here to help!

With over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial roofing, Taylor-Made Roofing is a company that you can trust with all of your roofing needs. Our family-owned business offers quality services, a reassuring warranty, and free estimates. For more information regarding roofing options, ice dam prevention, and more, please give us a call at 417-326-8778 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!

Fully licensed and insured, Taylor-Made Roofing is ready to take care of your roof.
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