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Can Ice Damage Your Roof? Eco-Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Ice Dams.

Have you lifted a large pot of water? Heavy, isn’t it? Now, imagine many gallons of frozen rain and snow dammed at the bottom portion of your roof. As this bank of ice grows, it creates many problems for your roof, shingles and attic. But don’t worry, ice dams can be fixed!

Armour Shield Roofing strongly discourages homeowners from going up and down ladders or doing repairs on their roofs. The accidents and fatalities sustained by untrained individuals are tragic and avoidable by calling a professional roofing contractor.


What are the consequences of an accumulating hump of ice at the bottom edge of your roof? 

  1. This barrier produced by frozen snow and ice prevents snow and rain from exiting correctly off your roof through the eaves and downspouts.
  2. The underside layer of melted ice has nowhere to go but down and toward the warm interior of your attic. 
  3. Like the oncoming stream of water approaching a beaver dam of sticks and logs, falling snow has no way to pass the dam of ice and snow to exit your roof. The snow becomes an even bigger block of very heavy ice, putting incredible strain on your eavestroughs, downspouts, lower shingles and roofing plywood.

Armour Shield Roofing cares very much about your roof. We take care of eavestrough cleaning and inspect your roof to prevent or repair ice damming. Please contact us below.


What causes the phenomenon called ice damming?

Your warm attic air heats the underside of the roof plywood, and the heat transfers upward through to the shingles that have snow laying on them. The snow melts, but mother nature wins and refreezes the roof moisture, filling the eavestroughs and downspouts with solid ice. 

The attic space transfers just enough heat to keep the lowest layer of ice melted, causing the plywood to rot and water to back up eventually under the shingles. The water turns to ice at night between the shingles, expands, and pushes the shingle layers apart. This cycle never corrects itself all winter and allows crevices between the shingles for water to leak down into the attic. 

The shingle damage is evident in shingle edges drying, becoming brittle, losing granules, and eventually blown-off shingles.

Without repairing the overall problem, this cycle continues all winter, year after year. 


What are the solutions to preventing ice dams before winter descends?

Your roof surface and attic space must remain at the same temperature. The upside to these remediations is less money is spent on your heating and cooling bills, which in turn rewards our environment.

You can achieve a neutral attic temperature in five ways:

1) Ventilate your roof to allow any warm attic air to escape.

Soffit vents, ridge vents, and roof vents should be part of your roof structure. 

Soffit vents are on the underside of your soffit (where your eavestroughs are attached). They draw in the cooler, lower air from the outdoors, which pushes the warmer attic air out through your ridge vent (a vent that runs the entire length of your roof along its top ridge) and individual roof vents. 

2) Seal your attic space from the heat of the lower floors of your home.

This means sealing the whole upper floor ceiling. Holes for lighting or venting must be well sealed with proper insulation, and recessed lighting must have air movement around their wired housing. Insulation and adequate taping around adequately sized individual boxes ensure the ventilation requirements for the lighting and the insulation requirements for the attic are met.

3) Ensure bathroom and laundry vents do not vent into your attic space.

All venting must go through walls or rigid venting that extends out of the top of the roof. Prevent the heat emanating from your vent pipe surfaces from transferring into your attic space by using foil-covered insulation sheathing made uniquely for this application.

4) All flashing must be correctly placed around the chimney, venting pipes, or skylights along with the use of their associated caulking.

The use of appropriate caulking, depending on the application of its use, whether for a chimney, skylight, or different flashing, is crucial with the use of flashing. 

5) Add the correct amount of insulation to your attic.

Make sure the outside soffit edges are left free, so the movement of cool air coming from your soffits pushes the warm air up and out through your roof vents.


Armour Shield Roofing suggests these quick fixes if there is no other option for now. However, ice dams must be addressed professionally to avoid accumulated damage.

Electrical coils are often attached to roofing down near the eavestroughs, and they also run through the eaves and downspouts.

A nylon casing filled with eco-friendly icemelt attached three feet up from your eves and allowed to hang down and into your eavestrough helps to melt the ice build-up, keeping roofing sections and portions of the eavestrough free. This promotes runoff. 

You should never tackle quick fixes that involve ladder climbing in the winter. Even though we can purchase a ladder, it does not mean we are impervious to climbing accidents, especially if we are not certified roofers. Slippery surfaces are hazardous, but winter slippery is an entirely different sort of dangerous

Armour Shield Roofing uses and promotes the use of an eco-friendly ice melt that protects plants, animals and our precious water system. 

Do not use salt or chloride-based products to work through the ice in the eavestroughs or on your sidewalks. 

  • Chloride-based icemelt products perform by drawing moisture from whatever they touch. However, this effect is highly damaging to living cells, whether skin, animal fur, insects, plants, shrubs, grasses, or trees. 
  • If allowed into waterways, these chloride-type products, although used in the past, have proved life-threatening to our fish and wildlife, reducing the oxygen in the water leading to extensive aquatic death.


Please call our friendly staff at (519) 858 5044 or contact us online for a no-pressure quote here.


Armour Shield Roofing strongly discourages homeowners from going up and down ladders or doing repairs on their roofs. The accidents and fatalities sustained by untrained individuals are tragic and avoidable by calling a professional roofing contractor.

new grey roof

Are There Any Roofing Projects I Can DIY? -3 Dangers to Consider

You might ask, ’How hard is it to install your own roof?’ There are several reasons that you should not try a DIY roof replacement. Unless you have previously worked as an employed roofer and have your roofing legs, you will be taking a substantial risk.

Armour Shield Roofing strongly discourages homeowners from going up and down ladders or doing repairs on their roofs. The accidents and fatalities sustained by untrained individuals are tragic and avoidable by calling a professional roofing contractor.

The 3 Dangers of DIY Roofing:

  • The number one reason to avoid doing your own roofing is your risk of falling and the incredible injuries that can result.
  • The number two reason to avoid doing your own roofing is your lack of proper, safety-regulated equipment that makes a roofer’s job easier and safer.
  • The number three reason to avoid doing your own roofing is a lack of roofing expertise and an understanding of secondary concerns.

This highly skilled job is best left to the professionals. It is because a roof appears simplistic, that so many DIYers are injured.

The following are just two incidents that happened to real people: A client sustained a debilitating brain injury from falling onto his concrete driveway due to a rotted facia board that upended the ladder, (not safely attached), on which he was climbing. Another client working overconfidently on his own roof, fell from his ladder and subsequently broke his heel. Approximately 12,000 people are injured annually from falling from a height. One-third of falls from roofs result in fatalities and unfortunately, a head injury is the third most common outcome. Statics from Ontario Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) show homeowners’ and workers’ falls from roofs are increasing.

Falls occur because fall-protection equipment is misused or is not used at all.

Not understanding job procedures, a lack of training and the use of shortcuts make up the second group of reasons that falls happen. A lack of edge awareness and poor lines of sight are common reasons for accidental falls from roofs. A damaged roof is a dangerous thing to navigate, even for experienced roofers. Like the rotted facia board that caused a client’s ladder to fall sideways, a structural weakness can begin to fail beneath you and give you little or no time to react. Tripping on vent pipes, snagging gear, a rope or a tool on something attached to the roof’s structure while on the roof, is always a risk. Slipping on a steep roof. Workers wear special safety roofing footwear; paramount to having firm footing. Not having roofing legs (experience). Roofs constructed with areas of different levels and variable heights, can cause sudden tripping or stumbling, especially when carrying a large piece of plywood as a gust of wind occurs.  

Many fall accidents happen, not while on the roof itself, but from climbing up or down the ladder.

Roofing employees are taught safe ladder and climbing techniques while accessing a roof. Special equipment is used to stabilize and tie off a ladder properly, crucial to avoiding an injury. Every employee is required to graduate from a government-approved working at heights training program, additionally, equipment-specific training is required. Roofing contractors take their profession very seriously. Roofers are trained to inspect the facia and roof even before their attempt to climb a ladder is made.

Curb appeal is a smart reason to make sure your roofing project is done by a professional.

There’s a reason that painting is one of the most common DIY projects for a homeowner to take on. It is because it seems easy. However, we still easily distinguish between a painting job done by someone who should never have picked up a roller or paintbrush and one by someone who has clearly perfected the task. Even if you feel you mastered heights, having taken heights safety classes, do-it-yourself roofing is very much about knowing what you’re doing. Shingles laid by a DIYer are very often easy to see. Laying shingles correctly as per manufacturers’ guidelines, and having the knowledge and experience to contend properly with typical or unforeseen roof problems, is essential. According to a May 12th, 2021 article written by Clayton DeKorne, Canadian Cost versus Value Report by ZONDA, roofing came in 12 out of 22 projects with the highest Return on Investment (ROI). 61% of your investment is returned. Keep in mind the time of its installation and the time of the home’s resale. Painting anything was not on the list.

You likely will not invest in, or have the storage for, the proper equipment that makes a roofer’s job easier and safety-regulated.

As an example, even the equipment and products required for painting is expensive to acquire; rollers, extension poles, ladders, good brushes and the price of quality paint are enough to turn people off DIY painting. The storage of painting equipment is sometimes reasonable if you have the space for it all. When it comes to roofer’s equipment, what on earth will you do with those items afterward: safety harnesses, hard hats, goggles, ladders, ladder hoist, tool belts, safety roofing-shoes, tin snips, tape measure, chalk line, nail gun, roof rakes, roof brooms, magnetic sweeper, tarps, roofing tools, plus the left-over underlayment, extra shingles, left-over felt paper, the old shingles and dumpster when the project is finished?

Armour Shield Roofing can help with your roofing concerns, whether it results in a repair or a complete roof replacement. With an A + rating from the Better Business Bureau and dozens of 5-Star reviews from appreciative clients, you can feel assured you are dealing with a caring and experienced company. 

Read the blog post ‘How do I Know When I Should Replace my Roof?’

Please call Armour Shield Roofing at (519) 858 5044 for your roof replacement or roofing associated service work.

Armour Shield Roofing strongly discourages homeowners from going up and down ladders or doing repairs on their roofs. The accidents and fatalities sustained by untrained individuals are tragic and avoidable by calling a professional roofing contractor.
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