Ice dams may look pretty but they can be very destructive. Learn how to prevent them from happening again!

As a homeowner that lives in a state where the winters are harsh, we totally get it - keeping your home cozy and safe during cold weather is a top priority. Luckily, we're here to lend a helping hand!   

With over 30 years of roofing expertise under our belt, Feazel has got some valuable tips and tricks up our sleeves to keep your home exterior in tip-top shape, no matter how much heavy snowfall Mother Nature brings us. Let's dive in and learn how to winterize your home like a pro! Specifically, we’ll be teaching you about:  

  • How Ice Dams Form 

  • Ice Dam Prevention Tips 

  • Ice Dam Removal Techniques 

Why Do Ice Dams Form? 

Ice dam formations need to be addressed to prevent them from returning year after year.

As the weather gets colder, it’s a normal response for us to turn on the heat in our homes. As your home interior heats, your attic should be cool. This is due to ventilation. Cool air is pulled in through the soffit vents and hot air exits out the ridge vent. 

If you notice that your attic is warm, you may want to look at the possible ideas that you have insufficient insulation, air leaks into the attic, or maybe even your soffit vents are blocked. These problems could be the sole reason as to why your home is experiencing ice dam formation. 

If your attic is too warm, this can cause ice to form along the eaves of your home. This ice could compound into a larger dam and push itself under the shingles. This process will inevitably lead to roof damage. 

How Can You Get Rid of Ice Dams? 

Quick fix solutions can prevent ice dams for forming until a solution path is implemented.

Ice dams can be a real headache for your roof, potentially leading to damaged shingles, interior leaks, and even gutter problems. Nobody wants to face costly repairs in the future, right? That's why it's crucial to learn how to tackle these pesky ice dams ASAP.  

When dealing with them, remember to handle the situation with care to avoid any harm to your shingles or gutters. Fixing ice dams permanently can be tricky, so don’t feel scared hiring a professional from your trusty roofing company to help. 

Here are a few safe methods to eliminate ice dams on your roof: 

  • Run Hot Water Over It: Gently melt the ice dam using hot water. Be cautious not to damage other parts of your roof. 

  • Install a Heat Cable: Consider installing a heat cable system to prevent ice dams from forming in the first place. Be aware that, even though heat cables are a great step to stay ahead of the game, they are not the best option for a dam that’s already exists.  

  • Removing Snow: Clear away any excess snow on your roof to reduce the risk of ice dam formation. 

  • The pantyhose method: Yes, you read that right. Fill the leg of a discarded pair of pantyhose with a calcium chloride ice melter. Then, you'll want to lay the pantyhose on the roof so that it lays across the ice dam and over the gutter. Although this method sounds silly, the calcium chloride will produce enough heat, melting the snow and ice, creating a channel for it to flow into the gutters or off your roof. Be sure not to use standard rock salt because sodium chloride can damage shingles, rust nail heads, gutters, and other metals located on your roof.  

If you're unsure about handling ice dams yourself, don't hesitate to reach out to a local roofing company for professional assistance. 

Problems That Ice Dams Cause 

Ice dams create many different problems; from leaks to potential mold.

There are many problems that ice dams can cause to your roof if you do not try and assess the situation when it arises. Not only is their weight putting strain on your roof and gutters but when the snow melts, it's allowing water damage to leak in the exterior walls of your home. 

With any sign of water leaking, you can almost guarantee that mold and mildew growth are next in line for problems.  

How Can You Prevent Them in the First Place? 

Preventing ice dams from recurring is important for the health of your home.

Now that we’ve talked about ways to remove ice dams, it’s also good to know how you can prevent them from forming. Your first thought might be to blame the gutters, but you shouldn’t be too quick to make that assumption. But the truth is, poor attic installation may be the true culprit of roof ice dams.  

Here are some of the best ways to prevent ice dam damage long term:  

  • Ventilating Your Roof Eaves & Ridges 

  • Capping the Hatch in Your Attic: even if your attic is unsealed a bit, it is a massive opening for heat to escape. Make sure to cover any little sections that are unsealed with weather-stripped caps made from foil-faced foam board held together with aluminum tape. 

  • Adding More Insulation on the Attic Floor: More insulation will keep the heat where it needs to be. 

  • Installing Flashing Around Your Chimney 

  • Insulating Air Ducts 

  • Sealing Any Holes/Leak Areas 

  • …and more! 

Get in Touch with Our Roofers to Learn More About Keeping Your Roof in Top Shape 

Since 1988, Feazel has been serving the roofing needs of the Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, Indianapolis, and Raleigh regions. Rest assured, our commitment to delivering exceptional services tailored to your desires and requirements remains unwavering. 

You can rely on us for: 

  • Roof Replacements 

  • Roof Repairs 

  • New Roof Installations 

  • Chimney Protection Services 

  • Commercial Roofing Care 

Whether you seek guidance on maintaining your roof's pristine condition or require immediate service for your roofing system, our dedicated team of roofers is available whenever you need us. Simply reach out by phone or utilize our online form to schedule a complimentary consultation today. 

Contact Feazel for your ice dam solutions.