What Are Ice Dams and How to Prevent Them?

Ice dams are your home’s worst enemies during the iciness season. An ice dam is a continual ridge of ice that accumulates on the edge of your roof. You may see it in the variety of icicles that dangle down from the roof margins. However, the issue starts offevolved during the warmer iciness days, whilst the ice starts to melt. The ice block prevents the water or molten ice from draining off your roof. As a result, the stored water may seep into the shingles, leak into your house, inflicting monstrous damage to the ceiling, walls, paint, drywall, insulation, and other components.

What Factors Ice Dams?

Ice dams occur when heat escapes into your attic or the warmer, greater part of the roof, melting the accumulated snow at the roof surface. This molten snow then goes to the lower, less warm roof place and freezes back to take the sort of an ice dam. Many of the factors that examine ice dam formation are the architecture of your house, ventilation, insulation, and climate conditions. Ice dams are usually extra extreme after a heavy snowfall, mainly due to the inherent insulating residences of snow.

How Can You Prevent Ice Dams?

ice dam preventionPhoto by using State Farm on Flickr – www.disastersafety.org is licensed under CC-BY 2.0

Any long-term answer to prevent ice dams involves no longer permitting heat to input the attic and installation air flow less than the roof to hold it cold. In easy words, the outside temperature of the roof have got to be the same as that of the underside of the roof. You may make sure this by way of following 3 simple steps:

Close Off Any Heat Outlets that Lead to the Attic

In maximum houses, a lot of the warmness loss occurs by means of the ceiling into the attic. Therefore, seal off any unblocked walls, drywall gaps, and cracks on the ceiling due to components which include light fixtures, plumbing pipes, chimneys, or entry hatches — which are inflicting air leakage. Many of the measures you may take to stop air from leaking are fixing the insulation and masking leaks with foam or caulk. However, carry out these activities in simple terms in the course of winter, otherwise, your attic will flip tremendously warm in the course of the summer months.

Check Your Attic Insulation Depth

Calculate the degrees of your attic insulation. According to standard building codes, you ought to install round 12 to 14 inches of fiberglass or cellulose. If you discover that your insulation intensity is less than 8 inches, add more of it to your roof. Go for blown-in cellulose and fiberglass as your insulation materials, due to the fact they fit securely around obstructions and depart minimum gaps. We would suggest hiring a professional for this job because the task is not a simple DIY project.

Install Roof and Soffit Vents

The purpose of attic ventilation is to maintain the temperature inside by way of drawing in cold air from the outside and blowing out hot air from the interiors. On your ventilation to function properly, you must ensure that the minimal size of the openings is approximately one square foot of vent consistent with three hundred square toes of ceiling or attic floor area.

Ventilation allows a continual flow of air from the soffit or underside of roof eaves to the roof edge. Installing a soffit-to-ridge air flow process along the size of your house is well suited to cool the roof surface. Here, insulation baffles are mounted at the lower part of the roof and over the exterior walls.

Additional Measures to Prevent Ice Dams

ice dam snow rakePhoto by way of ChrisDag on Flickr is licensed under CC-BY 2.0

Fix a Warmth Tape

You can set up an electrical warmness tape — a high-resistance wire — in order to preclude ice dams while there’s a light-weight snowfall. However, in areas where there’s heavy snowfall, warmness tapes can further complicate the situation. It is going to just outcomes within the ice dam moving added up the roof. This especially happens whilst your gutters are not clear and blocked with the aid of fallen leaves or different debris. Install the tape effectively in order that it circles around the complete roof edge, runs contained in the gutter, and goes down into the downspout. Otherwise, the molten ice will refreeze within the gutter or downspout and clog them.

Use a Roof Rake

After a heavy snowfall, eliminate the collected snow with the help of a rake. It’s an immediate direction of action. When you eliminate the snow, there is not any scope for the snow to soften and shape ice dams. Be cautious when you carry out this activity. Don’t stand on a ladder and begin cleaning! We’d recommend appearing this project basically when you live in a single-storey house. Also, be cautious not to damage the shingles that are really brittle in the course of winters.

Clean the Gutters

Before the snow begins falling, clear your gutters and downspouts. This step will make sure that the molten snow has an outlet, minimizing the chance of ice dam formation.


Ice dams by myself don’t create any problem. The wear is prompted mainly due to the seepage of water into your ceiling and walls. If you do face the issue of ice dam formation and leakage thereafter, we’d propose you to lease a pro roofing company. They will use a steamer to soften the ice away devoid of damaging your roof.

What Are Ice Dams and How to Prevent Them? turned into last modified: December 5th, 2020 by using Anisha Dutta