Preventing Ice Dams on Your Roof

icicles forming from ice dams

Preventing Ice Dams on Your Roof

Throughout the cold winter months, keep an eye out for icicles forming on your roof. The presence of icicles are a sign that an ice dam may have formed on your roof. When the heat in your attic melts the snow on your roof, it starts to run off. When that runoff hits the eaves, it freezes again until there is a huge dam, or chunk of ice, on your roof.

Ice dams are serious and need to be addressed as promptly as possible. Unfortunately, a lack of icicles doesn’t necessarily mean your roof is free of ice dams. One can build up under a fresh layer of snow without you realizing it’s there.

Why Are Dams Bad?

An ice dam might seem innocent enough, but it can actually cause a lot of damage. One example is your gutter system. The ice gets so heavy, it begins to weigh the gutters down and pull them away from your house. When that happens, and the ice starts to melt again, the water runs down into your attic and could destroy the structure of your home. You’d then have to replace all or portions of your roof, as well as interior elements of your home.

How Can They Be Prevented?

To prevent ice dams from forming on your roof, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Run a heat strip along the edge of your roof. This will keep the runoff going when it hits the eaves, instead of giving it a cold space to build up.
  2. Add insulation to the attic. If you can keep the warm air from your home out of your attic, the stark contrast between the cold outside and the warm inside the attic won’t be as bad, so the melted snow won’t be as dramatic.
  3. Check the exhausts in your home. You don’t want your kitchen or bathroom exhausts to vent into the attic. This only causes more warmth. Have them vent to the exterior of your home.

Contact Us Today

Contact Novalis Roofing & Siding to learn more about your particular roof and what you can do to get the snow removed before it has the opportunity to cause a dam.



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