Ice Dam Prevention in the Winter

Posted on: 6 December 2016

Winter season brings with it the beautiful holidays. Along with it are low temperatures and heavy snowstorms. Sadly, in the winter, many homeowners must think of different ways to effectively prevent icicles and ice dams from their home's gutters.

To avoid the devastating effects of ice dams, use the following strategies:

Long-term Prevention

Seal air leaks

Identifying and insulating all pathways via which warm air goes up in the attic is an effective remedy to the ice dam issue. Ensure you locate and properly seal all the little holes. A weather stripping is handy when it comes to insulation and sealing of the holes.

Insulate the Attic Space

Your attic floor insulation should be equal the Energy Star levels. Most of the homes in the Snow Belt zone should have their attic insulation equivalent to the R-49 value. If your home is older, most probably it's not insulated properly. It simply means that you'll need additional insulation to the attic in your home.

Lay Out Extra Insulation Pads on the Attic Floor

Refrain from laying or pushing your attic floor's insulation to the corner where the roof walls and attic floor meet. Doing so creates a cold area right at the roof's edge that can contribute the formation of ice dam. Furthermore, do not block the air that flows in via the soffit vents situated at the roof's edge.

Ensure Sufficient Ventilation in the Attic Space

After you properly seal and insulate your attic space, it's time to properly ventilate the attic. Primarily, ensure that you install soffit vents to the roof. Soffit vents are tailored to drive cold air inside the attic. The best alternative to soffit vents is gable vents. They are equally effective. The general rule is to have 1 square foot of roof or gable ventilation for each 150 square feet of your attic floor.

Do you have a gas furnace installed in the attic? If yes, then you'll need to ensure it's professionally insulated. Additionally, have a professional install power ventilation to cool off the attic.

Short-term Prevention

Do you have ice dams that have formed on your roof and need short-term solutions? If yes, consider using the following tools and alternatives:

  • Heating cables – They melt snow present at your roof's edges.
  • Snow rakes – Use snow rakes to clean up or push up the snow on the roof.
  • Metal Roofing – Metal roofs with special coating shed ice and snow thus causing it to fall off your roof.

After attaining adequate levels of ventilation and insulation in the attic, the roof will be in excellent shape for major snowstorms and low temperatures.


Replacing the shed roof

We wanted to start using our shed as a garage for our cars. We had not been using if for the last few years because the roof was in such bad condition and made the shed unsafe to be around. It turned out to be a lot more affordable than we expected to replace the roof and it's really nice to be able to use the shed again and have somewhere safe to put our cars at night. This blog has some information about what steps are involved in replacing roofs, including how to find a roofer that can help you replace your shed roof on a budget.