Are you concerned about roof ice dams during the cold winter months?

Ice dams are a specific type of ice that forms on a roof due to water seeping through and getting trapped. Ice dams build on foundation walls and can cause major home damage over time.

Of course, every home tends to develop ice dams occasionally, but you can prevent and remove them.


Rake Snowfall Off the Roof

The best way to remove snow and prevent an ice dam is to use a manual roof rake to rake the snow off of the roof. It is important to remove as much snow as possible until only a few inches remain. The remaining snow should be removed after each snowfall, as a build-up of snow can easily cause ice to form. 

Raking should be done from the eaves upwards, avoiding removing too many shingles in order to prevent roof damage. Make sure to apply more force when raking thick, packed snow, as it may be too difficult to push away with a hand. 

Add Attic Insulation

Proper insulation will keep warm air inside your home where it belongs. By keeping the attic as warm as your living spaces, the warm air won’t be able to travel up to the roof and melt snow and ice, which can cause ice dams. Start by doing a thorough inspection of your existing insulation and replace any worn or damaged areas.

Make sure the insulation has an R-value that is appropriate for your area. R-value is the measure of an insulation’s ability to resist heat flow. 

Use Heated Cables

Heated cables are installed along the edge of the roof, usually near the gutters, and provide low-voltage heat to keep ice and snow from melting and refreezing.

The cables are waterproof and can be buried beneath snow, making them virtually invisible. They can run up and down and around the house, curving up in the corners of the rooflines. 


To prevent and remove roof ice dams, it is important to keep the house warm by sealing all openings and air leaks so that cold outside air is not allowed in.

To remove an existing ice dam, use an ice pick or an ice dam steaming machine to break the ice. Make sure that the ice dam steaming machine has an adjustable temperature setting so that it does not cause damage to the roof. Finally, remove the melted snow and ice dams quickly to prevent further damage and keep the roof in good condition.

Hire Professional Roofers

Roofers are experienced in identifying the causes of ice dam formation and can recommend solutions such as improved ventilation, better insulation, and correct flashing and caulking work.

If the roof is too low, roofers can also recommend roof extensions to help reduce ice buildup. Professional roofers can also identify and determine areas that are prone to ice dam formation and can repair them before the problem becomes too severe.

In addition, roofers can also utilize mechanical and chemical de-icing systems to remove the existing ice dams quickly. Learn more about hiring an expert here.

Learn More About Roof Ice Dams

Roof ice dams can be dangerous winter hazards to both your home and your health. Taking the time to learn more about them and how to prevent them is a worthwhile investment into the safety of your family and home.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact a local roof maintenance today for more information.

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