Ice Dams Can Be a Serious Risk in the WinterIce doesn’t just cause a slipping hazard on your roof. It can also lead to the formation of ice dams, which can be dangerous. These occur when snow toward the top of your roof melts and freezes again near the eaves due to attic heat. This can block melting snow and ice from flowing into your gutters and cause it to seep under your roof, raising the risk of water damage and mold growth. These blockages can also ruin your gutters and cause roof shingles to become loose.

Dealing with Ice Dams

If you have an ice dam, don’t try to get rid of it with salt or by chipping away at the ice. This can end up damaging your roof. Instead, use a long-handled roof rake to loosen snow on your roof, so it won’t melt and freeze. You can also try putting a box fan in your attic to freeze water that’s leaking. Aim the fan toward the underside of your roof where it’s leaking.

Preventing Ice Dams

Taking steps to stop ice dams from forming in the first place is the most effective way to lower your risk of damage. You can do so by making sure your roof stays cold all over in the following ways:

  • Stop air leaks in your attic: These areas allow heat to rise up to your roof, causing snow on some parts of your roof to melt faster than others. Use caulk or foam to close up these leaks.
  • Check attic insulation: Make sure that your attic floor has enough insulation. This material helps stop heat from rising up to your roof, which helps keep it cool.
  • Install soffit and roof vents: These vents help keep warmer air flowing out of your attic and colder air flowing in, which helps your roof maintain a cooler temperature at all times.

If you need more information on air leaks and attic insulation, please contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We offer HVAC services that provide homes in Grand Traverse County with improved comfort and energy savings.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ice dams and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.

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