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Ice Dam Prevention Tips

Ice Dam

Ice dams are beautiful, but they are deadly mounds of ice and icicles that you see along the edge of some roofs. Ice dams are deadly because sheets of ice start to break loose as the weather gets a little warmer, stabbing or crushing anything in its path. They can also cause considerable damage to your roof by causing roof leaks that lead to interior damage.

Ice dams are a common problem for homeowners during winter months in New England. These dams form when warm air from your home melts snow on your roof, which then refreezes at the edges and creates a barrier that prevents water from draining properly. Serious damage can happen to your roof and home if left unchecked.

Normally, snow accumulates on your roof during winter. The underside is exposed to the heat of your attic. The temperature in your attic is cold but it’s not as cold as the outdoor air. What happens over time is a gradual melt of the snow down the roof. If there are cold spots in the attic just underneath and near the edge of the roof, this heat differential turns the melting snow into an ice sheet. Before you know it, there’s a huge ice dam that just keeps getting bigger.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our top ice dam prevention tips:

  1. Make sure your attic is properly insulated to prevent heat from escaping and melting snow on your roof. Missing insulation near the edges of the roof and exterior walls can also cause ice dams. This problem creates pockets of cold air that allow the melting snow to freeze along the roof edge. You should consider having a roof inspection that will determine whether the problem has to do with ventilation or missing insulation. Fix it permanently by adding insulation wherever it’s missing.
  2. Clear any snow from your roof as soon as possible to prevent it from melting and refreezing.
  3. You can also install heating cables along the edges of your roof to melt any ice that forms.
  4. Make sure your attic has proper ventilation. If the air inside the attic space isn’t properly flowing around, the edges of the roof can be colder than at the peak. If this is causing the ice dams, improving the roof ventilation will solve the problem permanently.

By following these simple steps, you can protect your home from costly damage caused by ice dams. Call us to discuss your home insurance needs and insure that you have coverage needed in the event of winter damage.

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