A Guide To Ice Damming Prevention

Ice damming is extremely common, especially in cities and states where the temperature can dip suddenly and then rise again in some time, followed by dips and rises in the subsequent days. In many cities across the United States, the freeze-thaw cycle is quite common. If the winters would have been steadily extreme and one would had to deal with snow for several weeks, it would have been easier than handling freezing and thawing followed by freezing and thawing again.

This cycle or these kinds of fluctuating extreme temperatures lead to a problem that is known as ice damming. When it is very cold and snowfall occurs or freezing occurs, roofs homes develop snow deposits. These deposits of snow start to melt or thaw when the temperature rises a little and then when the temperatures drop again, the melting snow or the water freezes again. As a result, what you have is ice damming. Snow is relatively easier to handle than ice damming. The latter can lead to structural damage, can destroy insulation, facilitate mold growth and can also create a very unhealthy and suffocating ambience inside the property, especially across the rooms right below the roof. Here is a brief guide to ice damming prevention.

  • Ice damming prevention is a multipronged approach. No one step can take care of the entire problem. The first step of ice damming prevention is to have adequate insulation. Many property owners may perceive that the rising temperatures for some time cause the snow to melt and that eventually paves the way for ice damming. On the contrary, it is the heat escaping the rooms underneath the roof that cause the snow or ice on the roof to melt. And it is the lack of adequate insulation which causes it. With effective and fail-proof insulation, ice damming prevention can be accomplished.
  • Second, you must try and avert the buildup of snow on your roof. You can easily use a roof rake and pull down the snow from the roof. This will do away with the primary cause of ice damming. You should be careful with this process since using the roof rake too vigorously may damage the shingles on your roof. You should only scrape off the snow and not the parts of the roof.
  • You need the attic to be well ventilated. When you allow nice, dry and cool air to enter through the soffits or the vents then your attic will remain calmer and there will be less chances of it getting heated up immensely which will again allow the heat to dissipate through the roof membranes causing ice damming. Ventilation is necessary, regardless of the season or weather extremes.