Redefining Restoration

Tips & Tricks for Cleaning Gutters

It’s one of our least favorite homeowner chores, but cleaning gutters doesn’t have to be a burden. The residential roofing pros at Van Rooy Restoration in Indianapolis share some expert tips, tricks, and tools to get the job done right and with ease.

Tips and Tricks for Home Gutter Maintenance

Keeping Gutters Clean & Debris-Free

No matter how your gutters are designed or what they are made of, they won’t work properly if they are dirty. Leaves, pine needles, and sticks are a few of the things we commonly find clogging gutters. Clogs can damage gutters and cause water leaks and other problems in your home. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools you can use to keep your gutters clean.

1. Ladder. This time-tested piece of equipment is often your first line of defense against gutter debris. However, it comes with some very obvious safety risks. Always follow all instructions when using ladders. You don’t want to turn an afternoon chore into an overnight hospital stay.
2. Vacuums and cleaners. No ladder? No problem, when you have one of these specialty devices at home. Both use extendable hoses and curved accessories hooked up to your shop-vac or leaf blower to reach over and into gutters to suck up or blast away debris.
3. Gutter guards. Designed for long-term low maintenance, these tools cover your gutters to let rainwater in and keep most debris out. They are the ideal solution for folks who don’t want to or can’t clean their gutters regularly. However, it’s worth noting that no guard is perfect, and you will still need to access your gutters from time to time and flush them out with a garden hose.

Maintaining Your Gutters

Keeping gutters cleaned is just one part of your maintenance duties as a homeowner. Sagging, leaking gutters can spell disaster for your home. Do this if you have:

Loose gutters. Replace older gutter spikes with gutter screws. Screws are much sturdier than spikes and provide better support and protection for your gutters.
Leaking gutters. Notice drips between gutter seams when it’s raining or snowing outside? They’ve sprung a leak. Make a mental note, or choose a dry day to run hose water to identify the leaky joints. Clean and dry any problem areas, and apply beads of silicone caulk to seal them up.
Damaged downspouts. Downspouts play a critical role in diverting water away from your home. Make sure downspouts are free of debris, and regularly inspect joints to make sure they fit together tightly. Use splash blocks, extension hoses, and/or irrigation pipes to help “aim” water runoff in the proper direction.

Time to Replace Your Gutters? With What?

Have your home’s gutters reached the end of the line? When it’s time to replace your gutters, there are several options today. Gutters come in a variety of styles, materials, colors, and prices.

The standard gutter width is five or six inches, and the most common designs are flat-bottomed (“K-style”) and tubular-bottomed (“half-round”).

Vinyl gutters are one of the most popular, because they are lightweight and inexpensive. Vinyl gutters are also easy to install for the average DIYer. One of the biggest downsides of vinyl gutters is their relative fragility – you can’t lean ladders against them, they tend to fade in sunlight, and can even crack in extreme cold.

Homeowners looking for more durability often choose aluminum or steel gutters. Both materials offer their own advantages – aluminum won’t rust and steel is exceptionally strong – but both options are more expensive.

An additional option is seamless gutters. These are growing in popularity and are found on many newer homes for a number of reasons. The gutters are expertly built and installed on-site, meaning there is no need to transport long sections of material. Seamless gutters are custom-fitted to your house, and because they don’t have seams, they are less susceptible to leaks. All these benefits do come at a cost, however, and installation can be several times more expensive than the cheapest DIY options.

Whether you do it yourself or hire a pro, the most important aspect of clean gutters is actually keeping them clean! To avoid bigger homeowner headaches down the road, make a seasonal gutter cleaning schedule now and stick to it. Also, did you know that your roof plays a big role in the health and performance of your gutters? An aging or poorly maintained roof can lead to problems with your gutters and other parts of your home. If you live in the Indianapolis area, contact the experts at Van Rooy Restoration for no-hassle roofing restoration and repair services. Take care of your gutters now to prevent problems later.

What to Do If Your Home is Damaged in a Natural Disaster

Experiencing home damage from a natural disaster, no matter how big or small, can cause immense emotional and financial strain on homeowners. This type of damage often happens suddenly and if a plan of action hasn’t been put into place, homeowners are at risk of making crucial missteps in getting the repairs they need. Every homeowner should prioritize a plan in case of storm damage. Here are immediate actions you should take after a natural disaster strikes your home.

What to Do If Your Home Is Damaged in a Disaster
Contact Your Insurance Agent

The very first thing you should do is соntасt your insurance agent or company. This should be done as soon as possible after your home has been damaged. Whenever you communicate in any way with a representative from your іnѕurаnсе соmраnу, keep a log of when you spoke, what you spoke about, and the outcomes from those conversations. Is someone going to come inspect the damage? Do you need to provide documentation? When will your agent follow-up? These questions are examples of pertinent information needed while you begin filing your claim.

Choose a Trusted Contractor

As part of your emergency plan, have a trusted contractor chosen prior to any home damage. Seek out a contractor that is qualified in the insurance claims process and can help walk you through your policy. Once an insurance company determines a fair price to fix the damage, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to find a contractor. This makes finding a reputable company prior to a disaster that much more important. After you make the call to your insurance agent, have a reliable restoration company survey the damage and deliver a detailed quote prior to the insurance claims adjuster’s visit. Doing this can move the entire process along faster, and get you and your loved ones back into a fully restored, pre-loss condition home sooner rather than later!

Contact Your Mortgage Servicer

Unfortunately, damage to your home does not stop your responsibility to pay your mortgage. Contact your mortgage agent as soon as possible, and discuss your situation. There may be a number of options available that could help you temporarily suspend or reduce your mortgage payments.

Take Pictures of the Damage

Just as you should document your conversations with your insurance and mortgage companies, you need to visually document the extent of the damage. These pictures may come in handy when acquiring the full funding needed to restore your home to its original condition, or when dealing with your mortgage provider. In a time of crisis, your memory may fail you, so photographs of the damage could be essential evidence when filing your claim and covering anything you may have missed during conversations with your insurance company.

Home damage due to flooding, hail, wind, or other natural disasters will never be a positive experience, however having an action plan in place can ease the hassle of getting your home back to original condition. Contact us today and we’ll help you develop a disaster action plan as your trusted contractor!

5 Issues Homeowners Encounter When Restoring Older Homes

The charm and aesthetic of older homes has drawn many buyers to consider restoration projects instead of new builds in recent years. However, the hidden issues and costs associated with these types of restorations can become overwhelming for buyers choosing to tackle this endeavor themselves.

While more cosmetic projects, like painting, are usually a task any amateur can accomplish, owners of older homes should be wary of some issues that require professional contractors. DIYers should be on the lookout for these five common problems when restoring their older homes.Common Problems With Older Home Restoration

Outdated Plumbing

New sink and bathroom installations are a normal undertaking when restoring older homes. However, the age and condition of the current plumbing needs to be assessed before new fixtures are put in place. Water spots on the ceiling and walls are major indicators of plumbing problems (and can also be a sign of a leaking roof). If ignored, bad plumbing can result in a flooded house and cause severe water damage. Homeowners should look for outward signs of outdated plumbing, but should also inquire about pipe material prior to purchase. Brass and copper piping can last 50 plus years, while steel usually only lasts 20 years.

Unsafe Electrical

Not only do older homes already contain far fewer outlets than a modern lifestyle demands, they can also harbor dangerous electrical wiring issues. Insulation that has worn away over the years can cause exposed electrical, which is not something inexperienced homeowners should attempt to fix themselves because the chance of electrical shock is high. If left ignored and unattended, the exposed electrical wires can spark a devastating fire or home power outage.

Toxic Materials

If the home was built prior to 1978, it is essential homeowners check for both asbestos and lead-based paint. Both can be extremely harmful and need to be removed to ensure the health of those living in the home. Asbestos can be found in insulation, floor tiles, and plaster. Due to the health-related risks of its removal, asbestos is now covered and contained with specific materials instead of being extracted from the home. Lead-based paint is crucial to be aware of, but can be covered with several coats of regular paint. Be careful of ingesting paint dust or flakes by wearing painting masks and keep children away from the affected areas until properly covered!

Mold Damage

Mold can present anything from a very minor inconvenience to a huge, costly endeavor. Visible mold on walls, floors, and cabinets should be inspected properly. It is typical for an aging house to have cosmetic mildew damage over time which can be fixed through normal demolition and restoration. Extensive mold damage, on the other hand, will halt a restoration timeline and requires professional removal. The health risks involved with ignoring black mold are not worth saving time or money.

Foundation and Structural Issues

Slight foundational cracks are common in older homes and are usually a quick and inexpensive fix. However, major structural issues require immediate attention. Before buying a home that has visible foundation damage, doors and windows that don’t close or latch properly, or uneven floors, homeowners should have a contractor assess the extent and cost of foundational issues. Factor in foundation problems into a restoration project sooner than later, as it can put all other work put into the home at risk.

Despite all of these common issues, restoring an old home is not all doom and gloom. Restoration projects are growing in popularity in Indianapolis, and for good reason! Preserving classic details and architecture creates a unique space for homeowners and upholds the character of historic neighborhoods. Contact us today and we can provide you the help you need to plan and execute the restoration of your dream home!

How Do I Know When I Need a New Roof?

One of the biggest dreads homeowners face is actually right above our heads. Yep, we’re talking about the roof. Thankfully, roofs tend to have pretty long life expectancies, but when it’s finally time to replace them it can really hurt our wallets. But ignoring a worn out roof can be even more expensive.

Keep an eye out for these top four warning signs it’s time for a new roof.

Tips for Knowing When You Need a New Roof


Whether you’ve lived in your home for years or just moved in, every responsible homeowner should know the age of their roof. Most experts agree – expect to squeeze about 20 years or so out of a standard asphalt shingle roof. If yours is older than this, or the current layer was installed over older layers, it’s time to start thinking – and saving – for a new one.

Visible Damage

Sagging spots, leaks and water stains, curling or missing shingles … all of these sign are evidence that your roof is in disrepair. Sometimes, roof damage can be repaired without the entire surface needing replaced, so get in the habit of regularly inspecting your roof from the inside and out. Remember – preventative maintenance may cost a little bit now, but it helps avoid major problems and even bigger costs later!

Signs of Light

The next time you’re in the attic, carefully examine the roofing boards above you. If you see any daylight peeking through or feel a draft coming from the other side, you have a problem. If light and air is getting through the boards, so is moisture.

Granules in the Gutter

The surface of roofing shingles is much like sandpaper. If you find any of these granules in your gutters, this is another sign your roof is reaching the end of its life. Shingle granules tend to break off more on older roofs. Too much debris can clog downspouts, causing additional unintended problems.

What to Do If You Discover Roof Problems

Like we said, roof damage doesn’t necessarily mean you need a whole new roof. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a licensed local roofing professional for minor repairs as soon as you discover a problem. Speaking of pros, did you know that Van Rooy Restoration in Indianapolis does roofs, too? We’ve replaced hundreds of roofs across central Indiana, and earned hundreds of happy customers in the process. Whether you need minor roof repairs, major roof work or replacement, or help with a storm or fire damaged home, we are the team to call 24/7/365!


Getting Your Home Summer Ready

Who’s ready for summer? Whether you’re grilling out or relaxing inside, make sure your home is as ready as you are for warm weather recreation. We’ve got a list of DIY tips to get started.

 Exterior Home Improvement

Cleaning Gutters Made Easy

This essential chore is often ignored, but keeping your gutters clean offers several advantages – it keeps your siding in great shape, protects your lawn and landscaping, and prevents your home from suffering (potentially thousands of dollars worth of) water damage.

The reason many folks fail to clean their gutters is simple – they make the job too hard. Do this instead:

  1. Use a quality, extendable ladder – and watch out for power lines!
  2. Grab a gutter scoop or a toy beach shovel to scrape out debris.
  3. Drop debris onto a tarp below instead of the bare grass.
  4. Rinse out your gutters and downspouts with a garden hose.

Boom, you’re done! If you don’t mind spending the extra money, check your home improvement store for speciality hose attachments that reach up to your gutters without the need for a ladder. You can also invest in quality gutter guards to help keep things free from leaves and other debris.

Power Wash Your Deck

You may not own one, but renting a power washer is a worthwhile investment each spring – especially if you have a deck. Keeping all that wood clean will add years to your deck’s life. When using a power washer, always remember to protect your feet and eyes from those powerful water jets. Remove all items such as furniture and plants from your deck. When spraying, use a fan nozzle if possible, and set the washer on its lowest usable water pressure setting. Keep an eye on the wood … if it starts to splinter or the fibers begin to erode, you’re either spraying too close and/or using too much pressure. Spray in gentle, even motions and keep an eye on the color of the wood – lighter means cleaner.

When you’re all done, consider refinishing the wood with a good all-weather sealer and stain. Also, while you still have the washer, give your outdoor furniture and even your home’s siding and walkways a good spray down, too!

Keep Mosquitoes Away

What’s the most annoying way to kill a backyard barbeque? No, we’re not talking about your nosy neighbors. We mean mosquitoes. These whiny bloodsuckers have been around for millions of years – far longer than us – but we can’t get rid of them fast enough. If you don’t want to cover your family and pets with bug spray, try this simple DIY citronella candle recipe instead. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Glass jars
  • Wicks
  • Soy wax
  • Citronella oil
  • Duct tape and scissors
  • Crayons (optional)

Start by collecting a few glass jars. Mason jars, pickle jars, pasta sauce jars – it doesn’t matter as long as they are rinsed and dried out. Next, you’ll want to cut the wicks to match the height of the jars, and securely tape them to the inside bottom of the jar. Add wax (typically sold in bars and flakes) to a pot or pan and gently warm until melted. Once the wax liquefies, add a few drops of citronella oil (we like to use three or four drops per cup of wax). Stir the mixture. At this point, you can toss in a few crayons if you wish to add color to your candles. Carefully pour the wax into your jars, making sure to keep the wick as centered as possible. Let your candles cool and dry, then snip the tops of the wicks about an inch above the surface of the wax. Take outside, light, and enjoy a pest-free evening on your freshly cleaned deck!

We’ve Got Your Back All Year Long

The folks at Van Rooy Restoration in Indianapolis raise a glass to a fun summer. But, if scary weather should strike, we’re here to help. Learn more about our many disaster restoration services and home improvement solutions. Also, be sure to check out our blog archives for lots more tips to protect your family and your home from Mother Nature.


Preventing Floods in Your Home

When it comes to flooding, no home is 100% safe. Flash floods can strike with zero warning. Your family might be able to escape the rising waters, but what happens to your home?

Preventing flooding in your home

Elevation Is Your Friend

Even if your house isn’t at the top of a hill, you can still safeguard many aspects of it. Since water flows down, raise your home’s heating & cooling, plumbing, and electrical systems. Find out the height of your property’s projected flood level, and make sure furnaces, water heaters, circuit breakers, and other vital equipment are anchored above that level.

The same thing goes for essential components outside of your home, too. Get HVAC units, generators, and similar equipment off the ground if you can. Don’t ever let electrical units sit on the ground.

Keep Your Pipes Flowing the Right Direction

It doesn’t take a flood to overload most sewer systems; even moderate rainfall can cause major problems, backing up pipes and sending raw sewage right up and into your home. Yuck! Don’t want to find yourself stuck in a stinky situation? Talk with a licensed plumber in your area, as well as your local water utility about back flow prevention devices. Any plumbing lines that enter your home should have proper preventers installed.

The Lay of Your Land

When it rains, or when you irrigate your lawn, does water tend to pool in certain places? The slope of your property can be a blessing – or a disaster – in a flood event. Make sure the land surrounding your home is designed and landscaped to divert water away from the structure, not toward it. Likewise, always make sure your roof, gutters, downspouts, and foundation are well maintained.

Have a Plan in Place … NOW.

Taking preventative steps is always a smart idea, but they’re not always bulletproof. Sometimes, the rains just keep falling. That’s why your smartest idea is to have a plan in place, just in case. Know what to do with furniture, electronics, and high-value items in your home, like moving them upstairs or at the very least off the floor. The same goes for irreplaceable items like family heirlooms, works of art, and photo albums. Make sure your circuit breaker is clearly labeled, and learn how to shut off the electricity to your home. Have an escape plan prepared, and practice this with your family – and don’t forget about your pets!

Unfortunately, Indiana is no stranger to floods affecting families and communities across our state. Van Rooy Restoration in Indianapolis encourages you to plan ahead and take the necessary preventative steps now. We never want to see it happen, but if your home is affected by a flood or other natural disaster of any size or kind, we’re here and ready to help get your family’s life back to normal as quickly as possible. Learn more about our many home restoration and repair services today.

2017 Home Improvement Trends

Spring is just around the corner and it’s time to restore your home with the most current and up-to-date home improvements. So far in 2017, the new-and-improved home consists of low maintenance, energy-efficient, green-friendly utilities for enhancing everyday life. Are you looking for the latest trends in improving your home? Below we have three ways to modernize your home with the most time-saving, innovative home improvement technologies.

2017 Home Improvement Trends

Effectively Efficient

The world has formed into an accelerated, fast-moving society focused on efficiency, productivity and progression. Now, advancing technologies are enforcing these norms as automation takes over regular human activity. Recently, home improvement trends have centered around automatic, application-based technologies that are controlled by a smartphone or assistant database. For example, Google Home and Amazon Echo are both hands-free speakers that are controlled by your voice to complete specific tasks or actions. These actions include playing music, reporting news and controlling your home’s features such as lights, a thermostat and other electronics.

Going Green

Efficiency and “green” technology go hand-in-hand. Technological advances are centered around becoming energy efficient and eco-friendly, falling into the “green” category. All advances in society are focused on being “right” for the environment. Home improvement trends have transitioned to solar power and producing energy through alternate sources. For example, LED lighting lasts longer and uses less energy than normal fluorescent lights. Many technologies are also ran by solar energy or are attached to solar panels to produce energy in other channels.

Low-Maintenance Living

On top of being eco-friendly and efficient, living a low-maintenance lifestyle is another recent societal norm. Technological advances focus on efficient but low-maintenance, “green” products, implying as little human interaction and effort as possible. These changes are happening within recent home improvements. Home offices are no longer in the office sitting and instead, are in the living room for “working from home” purposes, laundry rooms are becoming the largest room in the house to include as much space as possible, and storage units in homes are becoming larger and more compact. All of which makes life easier, for less maintenance and effort for everyday actions.

Now that spring is almost here, be sure to monitor the latest home improvement trends to keep your home innovative and modern. Whether you’re goal is to add energy-efficient home applications, include green-friendly technologies or incorporate a low-maintenance living style to your home, Van Rooy Restoration can help with all restoration, remodeling, or renovation needs. Call the pros at Van Rooy today and stay on top of 2017’s home improvement trends!


Common Roofing Problems After a Visit from Old Man Winter

Springtime weather is on the way. We may impatiently anticipate warm, spring weather while the roof on your house might disagree. Year after year, Old Man Winter brings on freezing temperatures and heavy snow, leaving unfortunate roof damages. Are you experiencing roof condensation, ice dams or deteriorating shingles? Learn about three common winter roof issues and the solutions for stopping damages in their tracks.

Winter Roofing Issues

Common Issue #1: Condensation.

Believe it or not, roofing systems face the similar phenomenon of a cool drink on a summer day. Months of freezing temperatures create condensation as soon as spring air hits. After a hard winter of frigid, icy rooftops and heavy snow, humid air seeps into the cracks, forming gruesome mold, wet insulation and roof failure. The science? The incoming warm air mixes with a cold roof assembly, causing moisture to damage the entire structure of the building.

How to fix it? Acknowledge waterproofing deficiencies.  

Whether there’s leakage, ceiling coloring or cracks, be aware of possible warning signs to stay ahead of the trouble. The first step for stopping damaging condensation is to ensure proper ventilation. Avoid roofing condensation issues by adding more insulation or vapor barriers to prevent problems before they occur.

Common Issue #2: Ice Dams.

While ice dams are related to condensation due to moisture and melting problems, ice dams can be more serious and harder to prevent. Ice dams are large concentrations of ice that accumulate over the eaves, gutters and in the valleys of a roof, preventing melting ice from going through the gutters and downspouts. Roofs are not the only structure affected by ice dams. Leaks in the attic, roof cavity and walls bring in unexpected mold contamination and wood-destroying insects.

How to fix it? Bring on (and off) the heat.

When preventing ice dams, the main goal is to keep the snow from accumulating and to keep the area from freezing. Before the ice occurs, use heat tape or cables to line along the eaves, gutters and in the valleys. If ice dams start to form, one strategy is to use a roof rake to remove snow, then use a calcium chloride ice melt solution to melt the ice. An important note is to NOT turn up the heat in the building. Increasing interior temperatures is only going to make the ice melt quicker and cause more damage.

Common Issue #3: Deteriorating Shingles.

Cracking shingles increase drastically after a frozen winter, making yearly inspections and upkeep a high priority. Deteriorating shingles are not visually appealing and cause unfortunate roof leaks. (Side note: Problems caused by condensation and ice dams are less likely with strong rooftop shingles.)  Another common problem is people walking on rooftops to shovel off large amounts of snow. Not only is this extremely dangerous, but the added walking weight also wears away shingles with every step.

How to fix it? Replace or repair.

First, identify the location of the roof leak or damaged shingle(s) and determine the repair. You can use cement glue and aluminum flashing for a single quick fix, or even grab your hammer and replace the broken shingle yourself. Another time-saving trick is to find weather repellant or seal for adding extra protection to your shingles.

As the winter comes to an end, fixing roof damages is just beginning. Looking for help in taking care of the damages brought on by Old Man Winter? Contact the pros at Van Rooy today! Whether you’re experiencing roof condensation issues, unbreakable ice dams or crumbling shingles, Van Rooy’s repair services can take care of your home’s winter damages before spring is here.

Enjoy learning about common winter roofing issues? Check out more information from Van Rooy on ice dams.

How to Prevent Pipes From Freezing (and How to Thaw Out Frozen Pipes, Too)

Winter – have you had enough of it yet? While most of us worry about warming up the car for those brutal morning commutes, many overlook a cold weather hazard that’s right under our feet at home. We’re talking about frozen plumbing pipes. This common problem can lead to major (and expensive) damage if ignored, so keep reading for tips on how to prevent it, and what to do if you find your pipes already frozen.


Preventing Frozen Plumbing Pipes

Frozen pipes are bad, but it’s what can happen to the pipes themselves that makes things go from bad to much worse. Water expands as it freezes, and this can cause pipes to burst, no matter what type of plumbing materials you have. When that ice melts, your home can flood.

To keep water flowing through your plumbing during bouts of extreme cold, try the following tricks:

  • Open cabinets under sinks in kitchens and bathrooms. This will help the warm air in your home circulate through those confined spaces. If you have chemicals and cleaners under there, be sure to move them out of reach of children and pets.
  • Allow faucets to leak a little bit. Even a slow drip can help protect pipes from freezing.
  • Don’t set your thermostat below 55 degrees at night, or while you’re away from home for an extended period.
  • Invest in electric heat tape from your local home improvement store. You can wrap the tape around exposed sections of plumbing and plug it in to keep things warm.
  • For a cheaper investment, consider adding pipe and in-wall insulation.

Thawing Already-Frozen Plumbing Pipes

Did you turn on a faucet, only to get a trickle or nothing at all? You probably have a frozen pipe. Time is very important in these cases. Here’s what to do ASAP:

  • Keep the affected faucet open/turned on. This will help speed up melting once you begin to treat the pipe.
  • Check plumbing in your basement, crawlspace, or other exposed area. Look for frost or ice on the pipe’s exterior for signs of internal freezing.
  • Use a space heater (hair dryers also work well) and place it near the pipe. You can also wrap pipe with that heat tape we mentioned above, or towels soaked in hot water.
  • Continue heating until water pressure is restored at the faucet. Check other fixtures in your home and repeat these steps if they appear frozen, too.
  • If you find breaks in the pipe, turn off the main water supply to your home immediately.
  • Plan Ahead and Be Prepared

Simple preventative steps should help you “weather” these cold months until spring arrives. However, if your home suffers any kind of water damage, remember that Van Rooy Restoration in Indianapolis is here to help. We specialize in water damage restoration and repair, and will get your home back to like-new condition in no time at all. In addition to disaster recovery, our team offers many Indiana home improvement services that can better protect you from future dangers. These include roofing, remodeling & construction, and more! Browse our website for more helpful information, and contact us to learn more about how we can help you and your home.

Ice Dams: How to Safely Remove and Prevent Them

“Those icicles have been known to kill people!”

Remember that quote from A Christmas Story? It’s one of the many memorable lines from one of the best holiday films of all time, which is most likely playing on some television channel as you read this.

Although young Ralphie had to think fast after he nearly shot his eye out, ice really does pose a number of serious winter threats. In today’s post, we’re focusing on ice dams. Keep reading to find out what they are, and how you can remove and prevent ice dams from forming in your gutters.


Identifying Ice Dams

Ice dams form when melting snow turns into ice at the edge of your roof. Snowmelt may occur on a sunny day, or from heated air in your attic or upper floor. Over time and with enough snowfall, those chunks of ice turn into literal dams by blocking water properly draining. Ice dams can form in gutters. If those gutters get heavy enough they can break, acting as a slide for massive “missiles” of solid ice. Ice dams can also form underneath roof shingles, causing water leaks and other major damage to your home’s interior and exterior.

Removing Ice Dams Safely

Just as it works on your walks and driveway, ice melt can be an effective tool against ice dams, when it’s used the right way. If you discover an ice dam, make sure to use calcium chloride ice melt. Melts made of sodium chloride or other ingredients may damage your roof.

Using a roof rake, first remove a few feet of snow starting at the edge of your roof. Once the ice dam is uncovered, fill old socks or pantyhose with the calcium chloride ice melt, and place across the ice dam. Let the solution slowly melt the ice. It’s also a good idea to cover any decorative landscaping such as plants or bushes if they are directly under the ice dam. Melting calcium chloride may damage shrubbery.

Another thing you can do to stop ice dams from getting bigger is to place box fans in your attic under where ice dams are forming outside. The cooler air created by these fans will freeze water on your roof in mere minutes.

Preventing Ice Dams

Because they form from melting snow, the most effective way to prevent ice dams is to prevent snow from accumulating on your roof. Roof rakes are long devices, which allow you to stay on the ground while pulling snow off the roof. Be sure not to let snow build up over entryways, garages, decks/patios, sidewalks, and driveways.

Adding insulation to the ceilings and floors of your attic can help prevent escaping heat from your home and therefore ice dams, too. Extra insulation has the added bonus of helping lower your utility bills. Another trick is to seal air leaks and insulate HVAC ductwork.

Whether it’s removing them or preventing them, working to remedy ice dams and snow accumulation can be a dangerous job, especially if you have a multiple-story or split-level home, or a steep roof. Do you have a home that may be prone to ice dams? Has an ice dam already caused damage to your home? Contact the pros at Van Rooy today! From roof repairs to renovations and more, we can help protect and restore your home in no time at all.

They may not shoot your eye out, but it never hurts to keep an eye out for ice dams. Happy holidays from Van Rooy Restoration!