Ice dams can result in water damage to your home.
When snow accumulates on a roof, it can melt and then re-freeze in the form of ice that creates a “dam” or ridge along roof edges.
This ice dam prevents snow and water from draining properly, allowing water to collect and penetrate roofing into the inside of your home.
Ice dams form on the lowest edge of a roof and are caused by:
- Temperature Inside – Attic releases heat, which melts the snow.
- Temperature Outside – Below freezing conditions, re-freeze melted snow at the roof’s edge.
NOTE: Ice dams are NOT caused by gutters. Gutters can, however, be damaged from ice damming.
The larger the ice dam, the more weight applied to your gutters. Ice dams can not only bend gutters but pull them down – affecting fascia, downspouts, fasteners, etc.
Ice Dam Prevention
In order to protect your home, it’s important to understand how damaging even small ice dams can be.
While large build-ups can be seen from the ground, you often can’t see smaller ice dams – around skylights, for instance. TX Roofing Solutions recommends a roof maintenance program for regular checkups.
To prevent ice damming, you can do the following to help keep your roof cold and reduce melting and re-freezing:
1. Seal Up Your Attic
The biggest culprit leading to ice damming is your attic – the open airflow from your house to it.
Sealing your attic will not only help with ice dam prevention… it’ll cut down your energy bills, too. So go into your attic, pull back insulation, and “feel for” any incoming air through gaps and cracks.
Once you’ve located sources, use caulking or something similar to seal them up.
2. Use More Insulation
In addition to reducing the airflow from your house, you can add more insulation to the floor of your attic.
This could be as simple as increasing rolls for added thickness or using blow-in insulation to reach corners and areas hand-rolling can’t.
It’s inexpensive to insulate an attic, so we suggest professional service for guaranteed effectiveness.
3. Consider Ridge / Soffit Vents
Attic ventilation does just that – ventilate.
So installing soffit vents strategically will prevent ice dams from forming – by cooling both your roof and attic. Outside air is pulled in; warmer attic air is pushed out.
If performing this yourself, you can find more prevention tips here. Otherwise, we recommend you use the services of a professional roofing company – like ours.
NOTE: Do not manually remove – shovel/scrape – ice dams from your roof. This can be the quickest way to damage your roof and make costly repair a necessity.