General News |2 min read

How To Prevent Ice Dams

Last week’s blog talked about getting your home ready for winter. There are a handful of tasks during the winter months that need to be addressed in order to keep your home or business in good condition, but there is one task that some people may not be aware of: protecting your roof from ice dams.

Ice dams occur when warm air from your living area escapes into your attic. This warm air then heats up your roof, causing any snow that has accumulated on there to begin melting. This melting snow runs down to your roof’s edge, freezing in your gutters to create an ice dam. The remaining melting snow is then trapped and begins to back up underneath the shingles of your roof.

Ice dams are very harmful and can cause severe damage to your roof if they are not prevented. Here are a few tips to prevent ice dams from forming this winter:

Clean Your Gutters

Keeping your gutters clear of debris, like twigs and leaves, is a very simple way to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof in the winter. Make sure there is a place for melting snow to drain from your roof to eliminate the possibility of ice dams from forming.

You can find our guide on how to clean your gutters here.

Ventilate Your Attic

Making sure your attic is well ventilated is crucial when it comes to maintaining your roof during the winter. According to Energy Star, allowing a natural flow of outdoor air to ventilate into your attic will help keep it cold and prevent ice dams from forming. Place baffles at the eaves to maintain a clear path for the airflow from the soffit vents.

Invest in a Snow Rake

Investing in a snow rake is a low cost way to protect your roof and help eliminate the formation of ice dams. Snow rakes are flat-headed with a long handle (some have extensions), and they allow you to remove snow from your roof while being able to stay on the ground. These rakes can range anywhere from $35 to $110, depending on the length and quality of the rake. This is an efficient and safe way to clear accumulating snow that could potentially melt and form an ice dam.

When in Doubt, Call a Professional

Consulting a professional snow removal contractor to assist in the snow removal process is a fantastic way to protect your roof from ice dams. These professionals will inspect your roof to ensure that it is able to handle the winter months, as well as remove any snow or ice dams that have accumulated.

Although this is the most expensive method for maintaining your roof during the winter, it is also one of the best ways to prevent ice dams and snow from causing issues on your roof.