How To Prevent Ice Dams from Forming On Your Roof

What is an Ice Dam?

An ice dam is a chunk of ice that builds up near the edge of your roof and can lead to water getting in between your shingles. They can cause a great deal of damage around your home, sometimes in areas that you aren’t able to see. If your home’s roof has poor ventilation and a warm attic, you’re susceptible to ice dams. In parts of the country with regular snowfall, like Pittsburgh, ice dams are likely to occur without proper maintenance and prevention. Ice dams can become dangerous if ignored, so prevention and removal are essential in keeping your entire home safe.

What Causes Ice Dams?

Ice dams form when snow melts on a warm part of your roof (usually upper portion) and runs down toward the edge of your roof where it’s colder and refreezes, forming a mass of ice. Once this ice dam has formed, snowmelt isn’t allowed to run off of your roof, settles under your shingles and leaks into your attic, causing lasting damage. If there are consecutive storms or large amounts of snowfall, large ice dams can form and cause a safety hazard to anyone walking around the outside of your home. Large icicles can also form off of ice dams and cause an increased safety hazard.

How to Prevent Ice Dams

The best way to prevent ice dams is to make sure that the underside of your roof doesn’t get too warm. You want to keep the temperature below freezing so that the snow on the roof doesn’t melt and form ice dams lower down on your roof. Adding ventilation under your roof deck will help prevent your attic from getting too warm. It’s essential to make sure that outside air is able to flow into your attic and keep the temperature down to prevent ice dam formation.

Removing any heat sources from your attic is another way to help ensure that your roof stays cold enough to prevent ice dams. Lights that are recessed in the floor, your attic can add a surprising amount of heat to the room. Beyond that, another way to help regulate the temperature is by insulating the living space below the attic. The heat from your home’s plumbing system can add significant warmth to your attic if not properly sealed and insulated.

Contact Us

A high-quality roof installation will always be one of your best defenses against ice dams. If you’re in need of a new roof installation or need your roof inspected to check against ice dams, call our team at (724) 554 – 6224 or contact us online.

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