How to Prevent Ice Dams on Your Roof

Submitted by Capstone Homes on Thu, 03/03/2022 - 12:41pm
Ice Dams in Ohio

No matter how well a home was originally built, its lasting quality is largely dependent on how the owner treats it. During the late winter and early spring, a common hazard known as an ice dam can form along the roof, leading to significant water damage. Understanding how to prevent this common issue will help keep your property in good shape for years to come.

What is an Ice Dam?

Ice dams form when warm air escapes from the attic and melts accumulated snow on the roof. When the water reaches the edge of the roof, which tends to be colder, it refreezes, forming a large block (or dam) of ice. This can trap additional melting water, causing it to seep through the shingles, where it can damage the ceilings, walls, and soffit.

Attic Ventilation and Insulation

Ice dams tend to form as a result of poor attic ventilation and insulation. Warm patches on the roof occur when there is inadequate insulation, which allows inside air to escape from that area. In reality, the best way to prevent ice dams is to have a well-insulated attic, so that the whole roof is consistently cold. This will keep accumulated snow from melting and then refreezing.

Additional Measures

To prevent ice dams, some homeowners install heat cables (also known as de-icing cables) along the edge of the roof, where ice dams typically form. When turned on, these provide enough heat to the surrounding area to melt away nearby snow. This way, any melted snow from other portions of the roof won’t refreeze. The water will flow into the gutters as intended. You can also keep your roof clear by using a snow rake to remove most snow and other debris.

At Capstone Custom Homes, we’re determined to protect your new home against the elements. Ask our design team about our gutter selections so you can get the protection you need from ice dams and other hazards.