Preventing Ice Dams

By understanding their causes and warning signs, you can be better informed on how to prevent ice dams from causing expensive damage to your home.

What is an ice dam?

An ice dam is a buildup of thick ridges of solid ice on a roof’s eaves which prevents snow from draining properly.
As the warm attic air heats the underside of the roof, the snow on the roof thaws and runs to the roof. The roof edge has a lower temperature, refreezing the snow and creating an ice dam. Ice dams can weigh hundreds of pounds and can damage can be costly. The melting snow can leak under shingles and cause water damage to the home.

What damage do ice dams cause?

Ice dams can tear off gutters, dislodge shingles, and allow water to leak into your home, resulting in expensive water damage.

What are the warning signs?

  • Icicles along the eaves of your home
  • Ice formed where the base of the chimney meets your roof
  • Loose shingles, drooping gutters
  • Stained ceilings and walls near the ice dam
  • Dripping water, stained rafters, or stained insulation in the attic

What can be done to prevent ice dams?

  • Before snow and ice comes, clean gutters to remove debris.
  • Remove snow from roof edges. Clear 3-4 ft above the gutter to allow water to drain into the gutter.
  • Do not chip away at any formed dams. This could cause further damage.
  • Insulate and ventilate attic. Seal air leaks.
  • When re-roofing your home, consider installing an ice shield.
  • Consider hiring a professional who can evaluate your home, roof, and attic.

Make sure your home has the protection it deserves. Call IBA to review your policies, giving you the peace of mind and independence from fearing the unexpected.

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