5 Ways To Stop Ice Dam Formation Before It Starts

Ice dams can be a serious problem for your roof. If left unchecked, an ice dam can cause leaks and the resulting water damage can seriously affect your roof's structural integrity. Prevention is always the best option when it comes to ice dams. The following offers five preventive steps you can take to stop ice dams from forming.

1. Keep Snow Buildup to a Minimum

Think of heavy snow buildup as the "fuel" your roof needs to create an ice dam. A thick blanket of snow can also provide enough of an insulating effect to create snowmelt underneath. The snowmelt will eventually refreeze as it reaches the colder edges of the roof, creating those problematic ice dams.

Using a snow rake can help keep your roof clear of major snow buildup. Just be careful not to damage any of the asphalt shingles while raking away snow buildup, since shingles tend to be brittle under cold weather conditions. Don't forget to take the proper safety precautions before and during the snow removal.

2. Check Your Insulation

Not having enough attic insulation is one of the most common reasons for ice dam formation. Having the right amount of insulation prevents rising heat from seeping into the attic and raising temperatures high enough for the snow on your roof to melt. Bringing your existing attic insulation up to an R-value of 49 or higher can help curb ice dam formations significantly.

3. Improve Attic Ventilation

In addition to improving your attic insulation, you should also focus on improving its ventilation. Adding soffit and ridge vents can help move warm air out of the attic while allowing cooler, drier air to take its place. Also make sure that your bathroom vents aren't venting directly into the attic space, as this also raises attic temperatures while bringing moist air into an environment that's vulnerable to mildew and rot.

4. Eliminate Air Leakages

Gaps and holes left behind by ceiling light fixtures, plumbing penetrations, and even attic hatches can allow warm air to escape into the attic or roof area. Sealing these leaks can help prevent ice dams from forming and control heating costs at the same time.

5. Consider a Metal Roof

Asphalt shingles aren't the best when it comes to shrugging off snow and ice. The coarse, grippy texture found on asphalt shingles provide the perfect surface for the white stuff to hold onto - think of Velcro and the way it's held in place. In some cases, even a steep roof pitch may not be enough to shed snow and ice buildup. In contrast, metal shingles allow accumulated snowfall to slide off with relative ease.

To learn more, visit a website like http://diromaroofing.com

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