How To Prevent And Remove Pesky Roof Ice Dams

Roof Ice Dam

If you live in a cold climate, then you’re probably all too familiar with the problem of ice dams. Not only are ice dams a nuisance, but they can also cause serious damage to the roof that may require extensive roof repairs. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to prevent and remove roof ice dams. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most effective methods. So, if you’re looking for ways to keep your home and roof safe from ice dams, then read on!

But first, let’s see why ice dams form and what damage they cause.

How do ice dams form?

In cold weather, the heat from your home escapes through the roof and melts the snow on the surface of the roof. The melted water will flow along the edge of your roof until it reaches an area where there is a temperature difference from the outside air causing ice to form.

At this point, water droplets will freeze as they come into contact with cold surfaces like metal gutters or shingles. This process can repeat many times before an ice dam forms which can cause problems for homeowners if left unchecked.

What damage can ice dams cause?

Ice dams can cause serious damage to your home, including leaks, water damage, and mold. They can also be a safety hazard, as in extreme cases the weight of the ice can cause the roof to collapse. 

The weight of the ice can also cause gutters and downspouts to pull away from the house, and it can damage shingles and other roofing materials. Ice dams can also cause water to back up into your house, which can lead to serious water damage.

Steps to take in the fall to prevent ice dams

The good news is that there are a few things you can do to prevent ice dams by being proactive in the fall.

Add insulation

Ice dams form when there is insufficient attic ventilation and insulation, causing heat accumulated in living spaces below to rise into the attic and subsequently melt portions of snow on the roof. An easy way to prevent the transfer of heat that triggers the formation of ice dams is to add attic insulation.

Start by measuring the depth of the insulation in your attic and check the recommended R-value in your area. For most homes, the recommended level of insulation is between 10 inches to 14 inches. You can add more insulation to your attic by yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.

Keep the gutters clean

The first thing you need to do is inspect your gutters for any blockages or other problems. Most of the time, this will be caused by leaves and other debris that have accumulated in the gutter over time. You can use a rake to remove these blockages or you can use a vacuum cleaner with an attachment that will allow you to get into tight spaces, like those found in your gutters. You can also install a gutter guard to prevent the clogging of gutters.

Install heating cables or heat tape

Another way to prevent ice dams from forming is to install heat tape or heating cables along the edge of your roof. These devices will help to melt any ice dams that do form, preventing them from causing any damage to your home.
Heat cables need electricity to operate and help minimize ice buildup by creating a path for the melted snow to drain off instead of pooling on the roof.

What to do if you already have ice dams?

If you haven’t taken the steps to prevent ice dams, you can try to pull the snow off with an ice rake that comes with an extension or wheels. Do this immediately after the first snowfall to prevent ice buildup.

Avoid getting on a ladder or climbing onto the roof in icy conditions to prevent falls and injuries.

Hire roofing professionals

There are a number of reasons why you should hire roofing professionals to remove ice dams from your roof. These professionals have the training and experience necessary to safely and effectively remove ice dams. Second, roofing professionals have the right tools and equipment to remove ice dams quickly and efficiently.

Experienced roofing experts can help you prevent future ice dam formation by making sure your roof is properly insulated and ventilated.

If you are looking for a long-lasting solution to ice dams in the Southern New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts area, you can rely on Adam Vaillancourt Roofing to get the job done safely and efficiently.

Get in touch with us to know more about our roofing services.