How do I remove an ice dam?

If water is not leaking into your home, you can carefully rake the remaining snow off of your roof using a roof rake. This will reduce the amount of snow that can melt into the ice dam.

If water is coming into your home, we strongly recommend that you call an experienced roof steaming company like Details & Dixon’s to safely and quickly remove the ice dam. Learn more.


A roof steamer takes regular, cold tap water and heats it to 300 degrees. The water travels through a hose and wand to produce a thin, low-pressure column of steam that is used to cut out the ice.

Details & Dixon’s guarantees that this steam removal method will not harm your shingles, roof or gutters.

We recommend that you do NOT:

  • Use a hammer or sharp tool to chop through the ice. This will damage shingles and possibly more.
  • Use a home pressure washer to remove the ice. The high pressure will cause more damage and may cause the ice dam to grow.
  • Use salt or other chemicals to melt the ice. This can cause more melting behind the ice dam and can damage your home and plants.

How do I prevent ice dams?

There are 3 options for preventing ice dams from forming on your roof.

First, consider adding insulation in areas that ice tends to form on your roof. This is a good solution if you have an older home or suspect that you don’t have enough insulation. You can do this yourself or hire a licensed contractor to do the work.

Roof rakes remove snow before it melts.

Roof rakes remove snow before it melts.

Second, you can remove snow using a roof rake from affected areas of your roof. Snow is the fuel that melts to form the ice. This should be done as soon as possible after each snowfall. You can do this yourself or hire an experienced company like Details & Dixon’s to do this for you. Learn more.

Image result for pictures of roof heat cables

Third, you can install a heat cable system on your roof that is designed to create a path for water to flow from the roof, through the gutters and downspouts to reach the ground. No one in the Twin Cities has more experience than Details & Dixon’s to design and install these systems.