Ice dams are a common problem for many homeowners who live in areas that experience freezing temperatures and heavy snowfalls during the winter. These huge slabs of ice typically form along the edge of a roofline when warm air from an attic causes snow to melt and then refreeze on the roof. If left unchecked, ice dams can cause serious damage to a home’s roof and gutter system. Today we’ll look at a few ways to prevent ice dams from damaging your home this winter.
Clean out your gutters in the fall.
If your gutters are filled with leaves, sticks and other debris, they won’t be able to carry melting snow and ice away from your roof. As a result, this excess moisture can refreeze and form ice dams along the edge of your roof. Clear out your gutters in the fall to make sure they’re able to function effectively during the winter.
Make sure your attic is properly insulated.
When is the last time you inspected the insulation in your attic? Old, rotting attic insulation can allow heat to escape through the roof, which will ultimately contribute to the formation of ice dams. If your home has been prone to ice daming in the past, it could be because your attic needs additional insulation.
Remove snow and ice from your roof manually.
If you have a roof that’s easily accessible, consider removing snow and ice from it yourself before it has a chance to melt and refreeze. There are even special roof rakes you can use to safely and easily clear your roof during the winter. Keep in mind that ice dams are most likely to form along the edge of your roof, rather than near its peak.