Stop Ice Dams Before They Form on Your Roof

Stop Ice Dams Before They Form On Your Roof

Posted on December 1, 2023 by Phillip Camerer

As winter approaches, homeowners face various challenges, including roof ice dams. Ice dams can cause significant damage and lead to costly repairs. Understanding what they are, how they can damage your home, and taking preventive steps is crucial for every homeowner. By following a few practical strategies, you can stop ice dams and maintain the integrity of your roof.

What Is an Ice Dam?

Ice dams form along a roof edge when the roof begins to warm enough to melt the underside of the layer of snow as the water trickles down between the coating of snow and the roof shingles, which can begin to accumulate along the roof eaves. Since the eaves extend beyond the walls of your house and aren’t warmed by your home’s interior, the colder outdoor temperature causes the water to refreeze, creating a dam. That can prevent proper drainage, forcing water under your roof shingles into your home.

How Ice Dams Damage Your Home’s Roof

Ice dams can wreak havoc on your home’s roof. The weight of the ice itself is damaging to a roof edge, gutter systems, and shingles. More significantly, water backing up behind the dam can seep into your home, damaging ceilings, walls, and insulation, leading to mold and mildew. The key to prevention is managing heat loss in your house.

Preventive Steps To Keep Ice Dams From Forming

  • Attic Insulation: Proper attic insulation is crucial. It reduces heat loss from your home, keeping the entire roof at a more uniform, cold temperature. Insulation minimizes the heat reaching the roof shingles, thus preventing the melting and refreezing cycle that forms ice dams.
  • Seal Attic Bypasses: It’s estimated that 5% to 25% of a home’s heat loss occurs through small openings in the attic floor. Sealing these bypasses around light fixtures, plumbing pipes, attic hatches, and other ceiling penetrations can be a game changer.
  • Ventilate the Eaves and Roof Ridge: Continuous soffit vents paired with ridge vents circulate cold air under the entire roof. That helps maintain a consistent roof temperature.
  • Examine Exterior Walls: Insulation in your exterior walls is just as important. That prevents heat loss from the house, which can affect the roof eaves.
  • Use a Roof Rake: After heavy snow, use a roof rake to clear the first few feet of snow off the roof edge. That assists in preventing the formation of ice dams.
  • Call Phillip Camerer Roofing if Your Roof is Damaged: Even if you take preventive measures, taking prompt action when you notice signs of an ice dam forming, it can help mitigate further damage. Phillip Camerer Roofing specializes in addressing and repairing ice dam damage. Our professionals can assess your roof, repair roof-related damages, and provide solutions to prevent future ice dam formation.

Stop Ice Dams On Your Roof

Preventing ice dams from forming along your roof edge is necessary to protect your home during winter. If you’re facing ice damming on roof-related challenges, contact contact Phillip Camerer Roofing online or call (417) 451-5479. Our expertise in managing and repairing ice dam damage ensures your roof stays safe and secure, regardless of outdoor temperature.