Redefining Restoration

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!

Is Your Roof at Risk This Winter?

Lots of people love winter, and it’s easy to see why. Snow makes everything look clean and quiet. Underneath that fresh blanket of powder, though, lie some hidden risks that can spell disaster for your roof.

Here are three common winter roof problems, with tips from the pros at Van Rooy Restoration on how to fix and prevent each of them.

winter roofing problems


Just like your foggy breath on a cold February morning, condensation occurs when warm air is rapidly cooled. As snow falls and settles on your roof, condensation can form under your shingles and in your attic. This can lead to major problems like mold and mildew growth, and the weakening of vital support structures in your house.

You can reduce and eliminate condensation by having a licensed expert install a proper ventilation system in your attic. Routine maintenance is also key – make sure you regularly check your attic and roof for cracks, holes, and damaged shingles. And never let water pool on your roof. If you notice any issues, call a roofing expert immediately to prevent further damage.

Icicles & Ice Dams

Mix sun, snow, and freezing temperatures, and what do you get? Ice. Because it adds a lot of extra weight, ice shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate on your roof. Icicles pose a safety hazard to people and animals, and ice dams – formed when water pools under roof shingles, and keeps freezing and refreezing as it trickles down – can cause major structural damage to your house.

Keeping gutters clean and sweeping snow from the roof will help prevent icicles and ice dams. You can also knock down small icicles before they have the chance to grow. Proper attic ventilation and insulation, along with sealing leaks, will protect your roof from dangerous ice dams.

Tree Limbs

Trees provide a natural source of shade, as well as a boost to your property value, but overhanging limbs and branches can break under the added weight of snow and ice, and come crashing through your roof.

Have a certified arborist or landscaper inspect your property each year, so that overhanging limbs can be carefully removed without damaging your roof or hurting the tree. Trim smaller, manageable branches that grow too close to your roof or home, as these promote mold growth.

Roof Emergency? Count on Us!

You have enough things to worry about during the winter – your roof’s integrity shouldn’t be one of them. If you’re interested in our roofing services or a roofing failure does occur, give us a call. From water damage restoration, to storm damage repair and expert remodeling & construction, there is nothing Old Man Winter can throw at your home that we can’t fix. Enjoy the snow out there, and keep your family AND your home safe this winter!

Van Rooy Restoration Launches New, Enhanced Website

With a never-ending mission to bring you the very best service and support, we’re excited to announce the launch of a new and improved website here at Van Rooy Restoration. This enhanced site will give us an even better opportunity to reach out to residents in Indianapolis and across central Indiana. Now, we can better inform you about preventing home and property damage, while highlighting our many products and services designed to restore your property should the unthinkable ever occur.

Keep reading to learn more about what’s new on our site.

New Site Navigation Tools

New Site Navigation - Van Rooy Restoration Site Redesign

Comparing our old and new websites is like comparing night and day. Click the top of your screen to visit our homepage and start exploring the new site. We’ve improved navigation and accessibility, making it easier to find what you’re looking for and getting rid of the guesswork on which tabs, pages, and links to click next. From our homepage, you have easy access to our services, resources, team bios, contact info, and more. Go check it out!

New Interactive Features

New Photo Gallery - Van Rooy Restoration Site Redesign

Reading is one thing, but seeing is believing. One of our favorite new features on the site is our restoration photo gallery. Browse images of smoke/fire, water, and storm damage, along with our before and after pics to see just how far we go to return your property to “like new” condition again. The Van Rooy photo gallery also includes images of our remodeling/construction, roofing, and 24-hour emergency response services.

Remember, we proudly serve residential, business, and multi-family clients across central Indiana.

New Monthly Blog

New Blog & Resources - Van Rooy Restoration Site Redesign

If you are reading this, that means you’ve found our blog. Nice work! The Van Rooy Restoration blog is updated monthly and covers relevant, timely topics that can help keep your family, your home, and your business safe. Recent posts include winter car emergency kits, winter storm preparedness, and other disaster prep tips. You can access our blog from the Van Rooy homepage or bookmark it for easier access from your computer or mobile device.

Never miss a future post and stay up to date with everything Van Rooy Restoration by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your Best Source for 24-Hour Emergency Restoration

24 Hour Emergency Response - Van Rooy Restoration

As much as we hope it never happens, accidents and disasters do strike. If a smoke or fire, water, or weather emergency happens to you, we are here when you need us most, 24 hours a day. Write down our contact information and keep it handy, and visit the rest of our newly improved website to find out how Van Rooy is redefining restoration. Stay safe and have a great 2016!