Ice dams form when warm air in the attic heats the roof up and melts the snow. Upon reaching the cooler edges of the roof, the resulting running water forms chunks of ice on the margins. They not only damage your roof but also have potential to cause damage to your house. As such, the best way to avoid all the trouble is by preventing their formation. If this does not help and they still form, engage professional ice dam removal experts. Try the following methods to prevent ice damming on your roof.
Block attic bypasses
Most homes experience heat loss through the ceiling, which then finds its way to the attic. This is facilitated by air leaks occurring through cracks surrounding light fixtures, gaps in walls, chimneys, and plumbing pipes among other ceiling penetrations. Depending on what type of air leaks you have, have them plugged with caulk, foam or any other relevant method. In addition to mitigating ice dams, fixing air leaks saves you energy costs.
Assess your insulation levels
Building codes recommend specific levels of insulation. Ensure that your house meets the required threshold to avoid ice damming. Insulate your home well enough to prevent heat conduction through the ceiling. Also, vent the space between the roof sheathing and the insulation so that in case of heat leaks, it is carried away.
Rake the snow
If you know you are prone to ice dams, always rake the snow off after experiencing heavy snowfall. By doing this, you eliminate the chance of ice damming. Though effective, this method is only appropriate for single-story homes. Be careful not to break the shingles while raking.
The best way to keep ice dams away is by having better insulation, sealing off air leaks, and ventilating the eaves. When you address these trouble spots, your winter days should be easier to deal with. Also, always get rid of them as soon as they occur to minimize damage.