Ice Dam Prevention
What is an ice dam?
Ice dams occur when snow buildup melts and refreezes. During this melting/freezing cycle, melted water works its way under the shingles, eventually entering the house.
Often the problem occurs because of a warm attic. The roof above the attic warms enough to melt the snow, but the roof edge remains below freezing. When the melted water runs down the roof, it hits the cold edge, creating a rim of ice. As the rim traps more water behind it, the ice dam grows. The consequences resulting from ice dams include; wrecked shingles, rotted wood, wet insulation, and water damage to interior walls and ceilings.
Here are some tips to prevent ice dams:
Close up air leaks caused by gaps in drywall and cracks around light fixtures. This improves attic insulation by stopping heat from entering the attic through the ceiling.
- Unplug/replace blocked soffit vents. This improves attic ventilation by allowing any warm air to quickly escape outside.
- Clean gutters and downspouts so melted snow can drain easily.
- Remove snow before it melts with a roof rake or similar tool. (Note: This will only be effective if you rake the snow all the way off of the roof, removing all potential snowmelt.