Have you struggled with ice dams in the past? Are you worried about the damage the upcoming winter might do to your home? The best way to take care of ice dams is to stop them from forming in the first place. Read on to learn how to prevent ice dams on your roof.
What Causes Ice Dams?
Ice dams are the result of warm air from the attic melting snow on your roof. The snow warms up enough to melt down the roof, but then it freezes again once it hits the cold roof edge. The longer this happens, the larger the ice dam becomes.
Ice dams may sound harmless at first glance, but they can present a big safety hazard for your family. Ice dams can also lead to costly home repairs later on. The ice dam acts as a barrier for water that would otherwise flow off the roof and into the gutters. This water seeps under the shingles and may even drip into your home. Mold, peeling paint, water damage, wood rot – the consequences can be substantial.
If the ice dam becomes too heavy, a large chunk of ice or a section of your guttering may come crashing down. You may also see large icicles forming off your roof line, which can be painful if they fall on someone. Take care of the ice dam, and the water will have a chance to drain into your gutters.
How to Prevent Ice Dams from Forming
To prevent ice dams from forming, you need to keep your attic as cold as possible. Here are some ways you can do that:
- Boost your attic insulation. A thick layer of insulation will keep the warm air in the living spaces of your home, not trapped in the attic. McLean Roofing and Siding offers many insulation services, including blow-in insulation, rolled insulation, and more.
- Make sure your attic is well ventilated. Roof and soffit vents can allow the cold air outside to flow through the attic, keeping it cold in the winter. This will not impact the temperature inside your home, as long as you have sufficient insulation.
- Keep the attic entrance closed. Most homes have a dropdown staircase leading to their attics, but some have a built-in staircase with a door access. No matter how your home is set up, make sure the attic access stays closed as much as possible.
- Have damaged gutters repaired or replaced. Your gutters may contribute to the formation of ice dams if water is unable to effectively flow off your roof. Get these issued resolved as quickly as possible to prevent ice dams in winter.
If you need help finding the best ice dam prevention for your home, our home improvement experts would be happy to help. Contact McLean Roofing and Siding at (248) 524-1111 to schedule a no-obligation consultation
What to Do after an Ice Dam Forms
If an ice dam is not causing any leaks or major safety risks, you can simply wait for it to melt on its own. Once the weather warms up, you can use the preventative techniques above to protect your home moving forward.
If the ice dam is problematic, we recommend getting professional ice dam removal. This process involves raking snow off your roof, removing the ice dam, and evaluating the damages it caused. Dealing with any roofing issues can be dangerous, especially when snow and ice are at play. It is best to leave these tasks to the professionals to avoid further damage to your home.
McLean Roofing and Siding offers ice dam removal, roofing repair, siding repair, gutter repair, insulation, and many other services you may need this winter. Reach out to (248) 524-1111 for all your winter home services.