Preventing Ice Dams – Simple Solutions

The winter season is upon us, which means it’s time to start thinking about the dreaded ice dam. If you are not sure what an ice dam is, or why they are so dangerous, this blog post will tell you everything that you need to know. We’ll discuss how to spot them on your roof and offer some simple solutions for preventing them from forming in the first place!

What Are Ice Dams?

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof, often along the gutter. This ridge of ice can prevent melting snow from draining properly off the roof and cause water to back up under the shingles and into the home. Ice dams are not only a nuisance, but they can also be very dangerous. They can damage roofs, gutters, and eaves, and can even cause water damage inside the home.

How Do Ice Dams Form?

Ice dams form when the temperature of the roof surface is warmer than the temperature of the air. This causes snow on the roof to melt, and the water will flow down to the colder edges of the roof where it will freeze and form an ice dam.

If you live in a cold climate, there are some things that you can do to help prevent ice dams from forming on your roof. Let’s take a look at some of them!

What Are Some Tips for Preventing Ice Dams?

If you live in an area where it is likely to get cold enough for snow to form on your roof, it’s important to take steps to prevent ice dams from forming. There are several things that you can do:

Make sure that your attic is properly insulated

If your attic is not properly insulated, the warm air from inside your home will escape and cause the snow on your roof to melt. Make sure that the insulation in your attic is adequate for the climate where you live. You can check with an insulation contractor to find out how much insulation you need.

Install a roof ventilation system

A roof ventilation system will help to keep the temperature of your roof surface cool, which will help to prevent ice dams from forming.

Roof ventilation systems come in a variety of styles, including ridge vents, soffit vents, and gable vents. A roofing company should be able to help you choose the best ventilation system for your home.

If you already have a roof ventilation system, make sure that it is adequate for the size of your home. If it is not, you may need to add more vents.

Install ridge and soffit vents

Ridge and soffit vents are the most effective way to ventilate a roof. Ridge vents are installed along the ridge of the roof, and soffit vents are installed in the soffit (the underside of the eaves). These prevent ice dam formation by allowing air to circulate in the attic.

Remove snow from the roof regularly

If you remove the snow from your roof regularly, it will help to keep the temperature of the roof surface cool. You can either remove the snow by hand or use a roof rake.

How To Remove Existing Ice Dams

It is dangerous to you, as well as detrimental to the condition of your roofing, to hack away at ice dams with a hammer, chisel, or shovel. Here are a few alternative methods for ice dam removal that we recommend:

Rake It

Pull off snow with a long-handled aluminum roof rake while you stand safely on the ground. Start at the bottom of the dam and work your way up.

Be careful not to damage roofing materials by scraping too vigorously. Take care when working around roof edges and near gutters.


Believe it or not, you can also diminish the damage after the dam has formed with ice melter and pantyhose. Fill the leg of discarded pair of pantyhose with a calcium chloride ice melter. Lay the hose onto the roof so it crosses the ice dam and overhangs the gutter.

If you can’t reach it, try using a long-handled garden rake or hoe to push it into position. The calcium chloride will melt through the snow and ice and form a channel for water to flow down into the gutters or off the roof as it works.

What Happens If I Don’t Remove the Ice Dam Once It Forms?

If an ice dam forms and is not removed, the water will back up behind the dam and can cause damage to roof decking, sheathing, insulation, and ceilings. It can also lead to mold growth and other moisture-related problems in your home.

So remember, if you live in a cold climate, take steps to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof! There are several things that you can do, including properly insulating your attic, installing a roof ventilation system, and removing snow from your roof regularly. If an ice dam does form, there are several methods for removing it safely.

Contact Crossover Roofing for Roof Replacement or Repairs This Winter

Our roofing professionals at Crossover Roofing can help you keep your home safe and damage-free this winter. If you are in need of roof replacement or repairs, please contact us today! We offer a wide variety of services to meet your needs.