How to Prevent Ice Dams

How to Prevent Ice Dams

Snow and ice are beautiful, but they can cause major home damage. One winter danger that often flies under the radar in Westchester and Fairfield Counties are ice dams. If you have ice around the perimeter of your roof and notice that snow is melting unevenly, you may be experiencing an ice dam. This can cause severe water damage. You have a higher chance of developing an ice dam if you’ve had one in the past, your roof is low pitched or if your attic isn’t insulated.

Ice Dams – What are they?

Ice dams are barriers of ice that form around the edge of your roof during the winter. This isn’t necessarily an issue unless the snow pile behind it starts to melt but the ice stays intact. Usually this occurs due to heat escaping from your attic. The snow melt is then trapped behind the barrier of ice without an escape route, which is never a good sign. This water can seep under your shingles and cause damage to your roof, walls and interior ceilings.

Prevention Tips

Insulate Attic
Add insulation to your attic. Focus the insulation on the floor of your attic to seal heat into your home. In addition to preventing your roof from heating up, it could save you on your winter heating bill.

Seal Roof
Make sure your roof is airtight. There shouldn’t be any small openings among your shingles, around your chimney or vents. If you find any openings, seal with caulk or replace damaged shingles.

Clear Roof
Keep snow from compiling on your roof in the first place. Use a snow rake to push snow off roof. This should only be considered if you have a one-story house. If you have multiple stories or don’t feel comfortable doing this safely, contact a professional.

Attic Bypasses
Keep attic closed and sealed off from the rest of your home. This can be trickier than you think. Visible openings and cracks aren’t the only ways hot air can escape to your attic. Light fixtures, electrical outlets and wiring holes can also cause hot air to sneak into your attic and cause your roof to change temperatures unevenly. Schedule a professional attic bypass repair service if you experience an ice dam.

How to Deal with Ice Dams

The tips outlined above are great to prevent ice dams, but what if you already have one? Raking snow off your roof can be dangerous, especially when ice is present. Contact us for ice dam removal in Westchester and Fairfield Counties. At ServiceMaster Superior Cleaning and Restoration Services, we can remove the ice and snow and restore the water damage. We’re available for emergency restoration services 24/7, even during the holiday season.

Photo by:  © Maria Itina |