Ice dams occur when warm air from your living area escapes into your attic. This warm air then heats up your roof, causing any snow that has accumulated on there to begin melting. This melting snow runs down to your roof’s edge, freezing in your gutters to create an ice dam. The remaining melting snow is then trapped and begins to back up underneath the shingles of your roof.
Ice dams are very harmful and can cause severe damage to your roof if they are not prevented. Here are a few tips to prevent ice dams from forming this winter:
1. Keep your gutters clean.
Keeping your gutters clear of debris, like twigs and leaves, is a very simple way to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof in the winter. Make sure there is a place for melting snow to drain from your roof to eliminate the possibility of ice dams from forming.
2. Invest in a snow rake.
Investing in a snow rake is an excellent idea to protect your roof and help eliminate the formation of ice dams. Snow rakes are flat-headed with a long handle (some have extensions), and they allow you to remove snow from your roof while being able to stay on the ground. These rakes can range anywhere from $35 to $110, depending on the length and quality of the rake. This is an efficient and safe way to clear accumulating snow that could potentially melt and form an ice dam.
3. Ventilate your attic.
Making sure your attic is well ventilated is crucial when it comes to maintaining your roof during the winter. According to Energy Star, allowing a natural flow of outdoor air to ventilate into your attic will help keep it cold and prevent ice dams from forming.
4. Consult a professional.
Consulting a professional snow removal contractor to assist in the snow removal process is a fantastic way to protect your roof from ice dams. These professionals will inspect your roof to ensure that it is able to handle the winter months, as well as remove any snow or ice dams that have accumulated. Professional snow removal contractors use rakes, shovels, de-icing and anti-icing techniques to remove existing snow and to prevent the formation of ice on your roof. Carefully research the snow removal contractors in your area so you know the professional you are hiring is credible and will take the necessary steps to clear your roof in a safe and effective manner. Although this is the most expensive method for maintaining your roof during the winter, it is also one of the best ways to prevent ice dams and snow from causing issues on your roof.
- Energy Star