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How to Prevent Ice Dams

on January 12, 2018

When it comes to ice dams, there is no quick fix. The best way to fix an ice dam from flooding your home is to prevent it in the first place. An ice dam is ice build up that forms at the edge of the roof. They prevent melting snow from draining off the roof, and can lead to water back-up that leaks into the home damaging walls, ceilings, insulation, and even entire floors of your home.

Ice dams are in the process of forming throughout the winter as snow and ice melts and then refreezes. The effects of ice dams are noticed in the spring when the snow and ice begins to melt and no longer re-freezes. This makes winter the perfect time to make sure your home isn’t going to suffer from an ice dam once the temperatures start to rise. Use these steps to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof this winter.

Steps to Preventing Ice Dams

Step 1: Keep your attic and roof cold.

Ice dams form when your roof is warm enough to allow the snow to melt. The first step to preventing them is to keep the warm air in your home from reaching your attic and roof. Add insulation to your attic and close-up an air leaks with foam or caulk. Not only will you prevent an ice dam, you’ll make your home more energy efficient too!

Step 2: Make sure your roof is properly ventilated.

Your home is ventilated off your roof. If the vent flushing out warm attic air is the wrong size or improperly located, it can cause your roof to warm, resulting in an ice dam.Some roofs can be complicated to vent. If you think your ventilation may be resulting in an ice dam, call a professional.

Step 3: Keep your gutters clean.

Regularly clean leaves, snow, and ice out of your gutters. This will create a clear pathway for melting snow and ice to flow down.

Step 4: Install heating cables.

If you notice ice dams beginning to form on drains or the roof, heating cables can be installed to prevent ice buildup. Connect the heating cables to the drainage system to create a path for the melting snow and ice to follow.

Anytime your home floods, it can mean disaster for your home. For any plumbing problems you may be experiencing this winter, contact Mainstream Electric, Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. Our professionals will quickly diagnose the problem and work with you to find an affordable solution that suits your home. Call Mainstream at 866-411-9277 to set up an appointment today!