With winter taking its course, and Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow earlier this month, ice dams are an important discussion to have this time of year. For those unfamiliar, ice dams are ridges of ice that form at the edge of a roof and prevent melting snow from draining off your roof. Those icicles hanging from your roof, are actually ice dams that have been formed. Water that is trapped behind these dams can leak into your home and cause damage.

So what can you do? How does one prevent Ice dams from causing damage to their homes? If you already have ice dams formed, how can you get rid of them? I’m glad you ask!

Preventing Ice Dams

  • Proper insulation in your attic
  • Proper Ventilation allowing heat to escape in other ways than the roof
  • Installation of Roof Leak Barrier: A rubberized film under roof shingles to block water from leaking into vulnerable areas.
  • Keep all drains, downspouts and scuppers free of debris.

Removing Ice Dams

  • Remove the first three to four feet of snow from the roofline with a roof rake or soft bristled broom
  • If the home is too tall to reach the roof then hire a roofing professional to clear the snow

If you plan on removing ice dams yourself, always remember to be careful. Make sure your ladder is secure and watch for falling snow or ice.

Graphic and information provided by Mapfre Insurance Company “Ice Dams Guide” 2021.