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Avoiding Ice Dams: How Do I Know if My Home is at Risk?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Hot chocolate, roaring fires, time with loved ones, and snow. Lots and lots of snow and ice. Is your home ready for what’s to come? While you’re busy raking leaves and bringing out blankets to prepare for winter, remember to give your roof some attention as well. A little TLC can go a long way when it comes to everyone’s least favorite winter treat: ice dams.

Avoiding Ice Dams


Ice dams are a ridge of ice that build up over the course of the winter months. In the spring, they prevent melting snow from properly draining and can cause extensive damage to many parts of your house, including insulation and ceilings. During the coldest temperatures, you may not realize you have a problem at all. But once the days start out above freezing and continue to climb – that’s when you’ll know you’re in trouble.


Yes! That’s the good news. Our roofing contractors are here to provide you with some simple but effective tips to help you out this winter.

  • Keep your roof cold! Since the problem occurs when the snow starts to melt, the first thing you can do is work inside your home to keep your roof as cool as possible. This can be achieved by closing up your attic, checking your insulation levels, and adding attic roof vents. Don’t feel like you have to tackle these projects on your own, however – RoofPRO is here to help.
  • The next time you get a new roof, ask for a special adhesive ice-and-water barrier 3-6 feet up the roof from the edge. It may not be possible to keep every part of your roof cold, so this tip helps as more of a lifetime solution.
  • If you have a single story home, invest in a snow rake. (Do it now, before the first snowfall hits!) Using a snow rake to pull the snow down before it has a chance to melt into an ice dam is a very effective – if not a time consuming – solution. If you have a house with more than one story, this tip won’t work for you, however. There are too many safety concerns when it comes to adding a snow rake to a person on a ladder. Don’t try it!


Once again – check your roof insulation! Any gaps or holes in your insulation can cause heat to escape, which will warm your roof and invite ice dams to form. If insulation isn’t your thing, however, you can also take a look at your home in winter. Are there icicles forming on the edge of the roof, hanging down in front of your home? They may look pretty, but they can certainly indicate the formation of an ice dam. If you have had ice dams in the past, it is likely that they will form again.

Just remember, if you find yourself facing a problem with ice dams this winter, our roofing contractors will be happy to help you out. So don’t hesitate to contact RoofPRO for a quote today! Wishing you a warm – and ice dam-free – season.

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