The joys of winter typically involve making snowmen, snow angels, and having snowball fights. If you are more of an indoors person you’ll be enjoying time by the crackling fireplace and your favorite book. Winter is a great time to relax and hibernate, but it doesn’t mean you can completely ignore caring for your home.

Unfortunately, winter also brings with it a set of problems for your roof, the largest of which can be ice dams. Ice dams can form when snow piles on your rooftop, begins to melt, slides toward the edge, and then re-freezes. These ice dams can create all sorts of headaches, such as damaged gutters, torn shingles, and moisture accumulation in the upper floors.

There are several key ways to prevent ice dams on your roof, however, and we’ve listed some of the better ones here for your consideration.

  • Seal all roof accesses. A hatch or doorway that leads directly onto your roof may not be sealed properly. This can allow heat to escape, which will in turn melt the ice and allow ice dams to form. Make sure that all accesses to the roof are secure and sealed before winter.
  • Check duct placement. If an air duct from the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room is angled to feed directly onto the roof, then this is just one more instance where heat can be applied directly to ice and snow. Make sure that these ducts are pointed away from your roof if possible.
  • Seal the house framing near the chimney. If there is a gap between your chimney and the house framing, make sure that this is sealed. Otherwise heat will seep onto your roof that could melt the accumulated snow and ice.
  • Insulate the attic. Not all homes have an attic, but even residences with nothing more than a crawlspace should be properly insulated. This will make sure that the heat inside your home stays there and doesn’t seep up onto your roof, melting the snow and causing an ice dam to form.
Articles Preventing Ice Dams on Your Roof