Prevent ice dams
Ice dams occur when melting ice build-up in your roof causes water damage to your interior walls and ceilings.
Steps to take
Proper ventilation, drainage, and insulation are the only ways to prevent ice dams.
- Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris.
- Check and seal places where warm air could leak from your house to the attic: vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches, and light fixtures are all possibilities.
- Inspect, or have your roof and attic inspected for proper ventilation and insulation.
- Look for signs of inadequate ventilation: rust spots, rusty nails, or a mildew smell are all signals that moisture has formed on the inside of your roof.
- If you have soffit vents in your eaves, make sure they are not blocked and insulation surrounding them is secured so that air can flow easily.
- Keep snow from accumulating on the lower three to six feet of your roof.
Additional steps for extra protection
- Install snow and ice slides to prevent ice and snow from "bonding" to the lower roof.
- Install a rubberized ice and water shield beneath the roof shingles for the first three to six feet from the eaves up.
- Install heating cable along the eaves to melt ice.
Removing ice dams
If you need to remove an ice dam, do not attempt to do so with a shovel, blowtorch, or snowblower. Call a professional to get it taken care of.