How to Prevent Ice Dams on Your Roof

November 30th, 2023

Ice dams can cause damage to your roof and home, so it’s important to take steps to prevent them. Here are some techniques you can use to prevent ice dams:

Thoroughly clean your gutters and downspouts: Remove all leaves, sticks, and other debris from your gutters and downspouts to ensure that melting roof snow can flow freely .

Insulate and ventilate your attic: Proper insulation and ventilation in your attic can help prevent ice dams. Insulation in the ceiling below the attic prevents warm air from rising up into the attic space and melting snow on the roof. Good attic ventilation circulates cool outside air in the attic space, keeping the roof surface below freezing and preventing snowmelt .

Rake snow off your roof: Removing snow from your roof can prevent ice dams from forming. If there is no snow on your roof, there is nothing to melt and refreeze .

Install heated cables: Heated cables can be attached with clips along the roof’s edge in a zigzag pattern to prevent ice dams. These cables help equalize the temperature on the roof and prevent the formation of ice dams that can lift shingles and cause leaks .

Keep roof valleys clear: Clearing the roof valleys, where two roof slopes meet, of falling leaves and twigs throughout the year can prevent snow and ice from collecting in these spots during winter .

Regularly clean your gutters: Regular gutter cleaning helps melting ice flow off your roof more efficiently, reducing the chance of ice damming .

Use de-icing products: Using salt bricks, rock salt, or calcium chloride bricks can help prevent ice buildup on your roof. These products can be placed strategically to prevent ice dams from forming .