Tips To Help You Prevent Roof Ice Dam Formation This Winter

Posted on: 13 November 2017


Ice dam formation on your roof can be a wintertime problem if you live in a northern climate. When snow melts on your roof and freezes at its edges into a layer of ice, the ice builds up thicker and thicker, growing under your shingles and causing damage. Although this occurrence can make your home look beautiful, you should take some steps to prevent and remedy the problem. Here are some tips to help you accomplish this.

Prevention Steps

One of the main causes of ice dam formation is when attic heat warms your roof and melts the snow, allowing it to refreeze at the cold eaves on your roof. The attic space below your roof needs to be well insulated and ventilated to keep its interior cool and your roof similarly cool.

It is a good idea to have an attic insulation specialist check your attic for proper insulation coverage and do a home audit on your energy efficiency. They can inspect for any shifted sections of roll batting insulation and fill the cracks, preventing heat from your home entering your attic space. Most of the time they will install a new spray-in insulation, which does not shift or move out of place, which will make your home more energy efficient.

It is also a good idea to check your attic floor for any cracks and gaps that can allow heat from your living space below to escape into your attic. Make sure to fill any gaps and cracks with caulk or spray foam insulation around heating ventilation ductwork, openings around electrical wiring, and around the access hatch into your attic.

Along with insulation coverage, your attic needs proper ventilation to also keep it cool. Your attic space needs to have vents situated at the top of your roof along the ridge and also venting on the eaves of your roof. This allows for heat to circulate out your attic space and be replaced by cool air.

Elimination Recommendations

If your roof forms ice dams, there are some other ways you can remedy it. First, you can fill a nylon stocking with sodium chloride, or ice melt and place it on your roof vertically. This will melt a channel into the ice and snow whereby melted snow can run down your roof and drain from your gutters.

You can also install roof heating cables on the edges of your roof before winter arrives. These heating cables are installed in a zig-zag pattern at the roof's edges, and you can turn them on and off when you need to melt snow or ice formation.