With the onset of winter and sub-zero temperatures, ice and snow can quickly build up on roofs, gutters, and other parts of a house. If left for too long, these buildups can become dangerous. Not only can ice build-up damage a structure, but, if left, drifts of ice and snow have the potential to break off and fall on people passing by. As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to know why ice dams form and what you can do to prevent them. 

Ice Dams

Ice dams form when an excess of snow and ice builds up along the roofline of your house. These are found in areas where temperatures are frequently below freezing and snowfall is common. Ice dams tend to build up quickly and can weigh hundreds of pounds. Roofs and gutters are not built to handle this kind of weight and pressure. As a result, ice dams can cause damage to shingles, the structure of your roof, ceilings, gutters, and even the inside of your house. When the air in your attic is warmer than the freezing temperatures outside, it warms snow as it falls on your roof. As more snow joins the first layer, it creates an insulating effect for the first layer. The warmth from the attic melts the first layer of snow, which then turns to ice as it trickles down the roof. More snow then melts and refreezes. This process causes a large amount of ice to build up on your roof and gutters.

How to Prevent Ice Dams

There are several methods you can employ to ensure ice-free roofs all winter long. Firstly, make sure your attic has proper ventilation. If the air in your attic stays as close to the outside air temperature as possible, there will be less of a chance for snow to melt. Second, after ensuring proper ventilation, check to be sure the roof of your attic has adequate insulation. By insulating your roof, you’ll keep warm air in the house while enabling the roof itself to remain as cold as the outside air. If your roof temperature matches the outside air, no ice dams will form. Finally, prevent ice dams by eliminating attic heat sources. Change lightbulbs to energy-efficient options to lower heat output. Ensure venting from exhaust fans, and dryers lead to the outside rather than dumping warm air into the attic.

Contact Us Today

If you need to install insulation in your attic this winter to reduce the ice dams on your home, our team at EcoHome Service is ready to assist! You can reach our team by calling us at (425) 250-5557 or by filling out our team’s online contact form! We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with your attic insulation needs!