Winter is about to come, and surely you have prepared the coziest blankets and the fireplace to keep you warm. But have you also prepared things to protect your roofs from stubborn ice damage?

If not, then you better read this article until the end. 

 Ice dams can cause serious damage to your home, especially on the roofs, ceilings and walls, that can lead to costly repairs. Thankfully you don’t have to bother with that when you follow the six most effective ways to prevent ice dams this winter.


What Is Ice Damming?

But first, let us understand what Ice dams are and how they form to come up with ways to prevent them from happening.

Ice dams can cause the water to back up, flood your home, rip off the gutters, and lose the shingles. The effects include stained and sagging ceilings, warped floors, and flaking paint. Not to mention damp attic insulation, which lowers its value and attracts mold and mildew.

They can develop after a significant snowfall when warm attic air reaches the roof and melts the snow. When the water reaches a cooler area of the lower roof or if the air temperature drops significantly, it flows off the roof and refreezes. 

As a result, the water backs up near the roof’s edge and accumulates as a mound of ice, driving it up beneath the shingles. Water can occasionally creep five to ten feet up under the shingles.


Why Is Fixing Ice Dams So Expensive?

When you have ice damming, your roof’s shingles frequently crack and become loose. Unfortunately, replacing the roof might be necessary, which is not cheap. You’ll probably also need to replace some wet plasterboard and insulation in your walls and ceilings. 

Additionally, you might have to repaint,  replace or repair furniture or damaged flooring.Not only is there a lot of repairing to be done, but it also must be done in a specific order, beginning at the roof and moving lower.

So is there a way to prevent these from happening? Thankfully yes! 


6 Most Effective Ways To Prevent Ice Dams

Insurance companies spend millions of dollars annually to repair home damage caused by ice jams. Save your money and your time by preventing the problem from happening.

Here are the six most effective ways that you can do to prevent ice dams from damaging your properties.

1. Clean The Gutters

One easy way to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof during winter is to keep your gutters clear of debris like twigs and leaves. Make sure there is a pathway for melting snow to move off your roof to prevent the creation of ice dams.

 2. Insulate And Ventilate Your Attic Well

You might want to hire an expert to perform an energy analysis and examine the thickness and uniformity of the insulation. 

  • Insulation. Keep your roof below 30 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid snow melting, leading to ice dams. Your attic insulation must prevent warm air from rising to the roof.  Check insulation is not damaged in the rafters’ gaps and the attic floor.

The attic entrance, heating pipes, vent fans, and inset ceiling lights attached to the room are additional places to inspect the insulation. Any area that radiates heat into the attic should be adequately sealed and insulated.

  • Ventilation. Ensuring the attic is adequately ventilated is another technique to stop heated air from building up. There are several advantages to having efficient attic ventilation, including distributing air evenly and creating good air quality. 

Better soffit systems are frequently used as a fix for homes that don’t have adequate ventilation systems. Your home’s ventilation system impacts many different areas. Therefore, choosing the proper type should be determined by a professional inspection.

3. Seal Leaked Air

Warm air should be circulated throughout your home during the winter, but you should avoid overheating the attic. When warm air hits the roof, snow melts, and ice dams start to form. Seal gaps to prevent warm air from leaking into the attic, and ensure the covering between the chimney and roof is functioning correctly.

4. Put Heat Cables

Installing heat cables is a long-term ice dam prevention strategy. The cables are strategically positioned over your roof’s sections where water tends to collect. They produce warm channels that let the water leave the surface of your roof before it freezes. 

Be aware that heat cables use electricity and will increase your energy costs if you decide to use them. However, there are heat cables that regulate themselves and use less energy by allowing you to switch them on and off. 

5. Get A Snow Rake

The most simple approach for occasional heavy snowfalls is a snow rake. It is an aluminum scraper on an extendable metal pole at a right angle. Snow can’t melt and create an ice dam if you drag it down. It works well, albeit tediously, but only on single-story homes. Just be careful to use it correctly to prevent roof damage.

6. Use Ice Dam Prevention Products

As their name suggests, ice is melted quickly by these products.  Avoid rock salt, though, since it can harm your roof’s shingles, concrete, and landscaping. Using a non-corrosive, chloride-free natural ice melt to get rid of snow is preferable. Consider the following products.

  • Ice Belts. Ice belts are thin aluminum panels mounted along the roof line to help soffit vents shed snow.  Because ice dams can form above the top of the panel edging, they are best for protecting specific areas.
  • Calcium Chloride Ice Melts. Fill pantyhose placed along ice dam regions with this ice melt product. The pills can also be thrown onto the roof, although spreading them along the eaves with a ladder is more effective. Use only calcium chloride ice melt formulated specifically for use on rooftops.


Make the winter season a relaxing time in your home by ensuring that all your properties are well protected from the possible damage caused by ice dams. You can follow the six most effective ways to prevent ice dams above. Alternatively, you can also place your trust in the hands of the experts.

Exteriors Plus is the premiere savage roofing contractor. Nominated as one of Minnesota’s best, we cover all your roofing, siding, or window needs with the utmost quality and service. Check out our excellent reviews from their satisfied customers. Give us a call today to get a free estimate!