How To Prevent Ice Dams On Your Roof

When winter hits in Michigan, the cold weather can wreak havoc on your home, and especially your roof.

One particular cause of damage is ice dams, which is ice that builds up on the eave of a warm roof. When the snow melts, it flows down the roof until it reaches a place on the roof that is below freezing. If you have ever walked past a house in the winter and saw icicles hanging down from what looks like a sheer face of ice just above the gutter, you’ve seen an ice dam.

Not only do they trap water that can melt later and cause damage to the roof, but also it can snap off and fall on innocent bystanders (like Christmas carolers and postal workers) and cause severe injury.

So how do you prevent ice dams? We’re glad you asked!

Proper roof ventilation is key to stopping ice dams. Like we mentioned above, warm spots on the roof are where ice dams are born, and roofs that are not properly ventilated can warm up quickly, even in the cold.

To ensure your roof is properly ventilated, the homeowner should install attic vents to ensure air is flowing properly. When the air is flowing properly, it stays cool, which means less warm spots on the roof and less opportunity for ice dams to form.

If you live in an older home, of which there are a lot of in South Lyon and surrounding areas, it’s a good bet your ventilation isn’t up to snuff if you haven’t checked it in some time. It’s not that the homes aren’t built properly, but we’ve come a long way in understanding how to improve roofs, and great strides have been made over the past decades.

Another way to improve attic ventilation is to install a ventilation fan. While experts don’t really have an opinion on whether or not they work, they can suck out the warm air circulation and replace it with cool air it pulls in from outside. If you combine the fan with the proper ventilation, then you can really start to see a difference.

Above all else, you need to ensure the eaves of the home are flushed out to ensure there is no standing debris. While an ice dam can form over debris, it’s harder to gain a foothold if there is nothing to grab on to. So before the weather really gets frigid, clear your roof of debris to ensure you are set up to have an uneventful winter.

To schedule a free quote on a new roof, contact us today!

The Roof Company