Ice dams occur when water freezes on your roof, forming a physical barrier that prevents water from melting snow and ice higher up on your roof from flowing down through the gutter system. When this happens, water can pool on your roof, and soak through your shingles and into your home, causing interior damage and posing the risk of mold and mildew growth.
Thankfully, there are a number of things that you can do to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof:
Preventing Ice Dams
Ice dams most commonly occur in the gutters on your roof, as the roof itself will be warm enough to melt snow. That water will run off to the gutters, which hang out past your roof and thus do not continue to get the same amount of heat from the roof. This allows the water to freeze and build up.
So, logically the best way to reduce the likelihood of ice dams forming is to keep your attic cool. There are a number of ways that this can be achieved.
Insulation: Placing greater amounts of insulation on the floor of your attic can help prevent heat from leaking from your home into the attic, which will in turn warm up the roof. This will both lower your energy bills and prevent ice dams from forming. In the same vein, if you have a chimney or any other installation that rises out of your home and through the attic, ensure that it is properly surrounded by flashing to prevent heat from leaking into the attic.
Eave vents: Installing vents in the eaves of your home can allow cool air to circulate upwards, which will cool down the surface of your vents and prevent snow from melting due to interior heat.
Fans: A properly insulated attic can still have pockets of hot air that collect in corners, which can warm up certain areas of your roof. If you have common household fans running in the attic during the winter season, you ensure that the cold air in your attic is able to circulate, thus preventing the roof from heating up.
Raking: Using a rake to remove excess snow from the roof is a surface level solution that can reduce the amount of potential water that can pool on your roof, which in turn reduces the likelihood of ice dams forming. Be sure to use a rake with wheels to prevent any damage to your shingles.
Still have questions? Try contacting professionals roofers for more help and answers.
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