The winter months present a number of potential headaches for the homeowner, including ice dams. Ice dams are dams of ice that form on roofs and cause water to back up. Ice dams form when the snow that touches the roof melts, and then that water freezes again before running off your roof.
Gutters are not the only place where ice dams form. Blocked or clogged gutters can fill with ice and provide the foundation for an ice dam.
Ice Dam Prevention
· Perform regular maintenance on your roof and gutters.
· Keep your heating system well maintained.
· Heated cables can equalize the temperature on your roof, which can prevent unequal melting that causes ice dams.
· Protect your roof by installing water and ice shield under the shingles at the edges of your roof, chimney and skylights, and around any vents.
· Steaming away ice dams is a professional only option because it requires commercial steaming equipment that heats water and dispenses it under pressure.
· The best way to address the problem of recurring ice dams is to improve the insulation and ventilation in your attic.
· Remove snow with a long-handled roof rake.
· Seal around electrical cables and vent pipes with a fire-stop sealant.