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Prevent Roof Damage From Ice Dams

Written by A. Borrelli Mechanical on 01.13.23

Prevent Roof Damage from Ice Dams

Ice dams are a real concern during the winter months for the potential damage they can cause to your home’s roof. They usually appear shortly after heavy snowfall when the temperature is consistently cold, and can be difficult to notice and diagnose until it is too late. Once ice dam damage occurs there is little that can be remediated, so it’s best to be proactive. 

Appropriately named, ice dams are dams made of ice that form on your roof. The issue with ice dams is that when snow melts, water will form a pool behind the dam allowing the possibility of water seeping beneath the roof shingles and into your home causing massive damage.

How to Prevent Ice Dams

To prevent ice dams from forming on your roof, there are two approaches you can take. The first is proper attic insulation and the second is adequate attic ventilation.

Attic Insulation

Having proper attic insulation will reduce the likelihood of ice dams by keeping the roof close to the outdoor temperature. Having hot and cold spots in your attic insulation, or leaking heat points in your heating ducts, have the potential to cause an ice dam. This is because temperature differences can melt snow into water on your roof that then freeze as ice. Contact a professional to ensure that your attic is insulated and maintained properly to avoid ice dam formations.

Attic Ventilation

While heat always escapes from your home in some capacity, making sure that your home is ventilated properly will reduce temperature variations that may contribute to ice dams. Make sure that your attic is well ventilated and that no outside vents are covered or obstructed. Reach out to a licensed HVAC technician to inspect your attic’s ventilation.

Preventing Ice Dams

Through proper attic insulation and ventilation, ice dams are far less likely to occur and cause catastrophic damage. However, it is also a good idea to keep your roof free from debris such as leaves and branches to allow for adequate drainage, as well as removing as much snow from your roof as possible during snowfall. 

Contact A. Borrelli Mechanical to have a licensed HVAC professional determine if your attic’s insulation and ventilation are enough to prevent ice dams this season. 

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Topics: Winter, Safety, Home Health and Maintenance