ice on roof

How to Prevent Ice Dams on Your Roof

Icicles may look pretty on your roof, but they are often the result of an ice dam. And an ice dam can tear off your gutters, loosen your shingles and allow water to back up and pour into your home.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent ice dams and keep your roof and gutter safe. Here are some solutions.

What are Ice Dams?

Ice dams form when snow melts and freezes at the eaves and gutter. They can cause water to back up under the roof eaves. They can do considerable damage to various roof components, including the gutters. 

How to Prevent Ice Dams

You can prevent ice dams by taking the following steps:

Use Heated Cables: Heated cables can be attached along the roof’s edge in a zig zag pattern. They will allow you to equalize your roof’s temperature making snow less likely to freeze on its surface.

Ventilate the Eaves and Ridge: Installing soffit vents in your ridge vent will circulate cold air under the roof to equalize the roof temperature and prevent freezes. Make sure the ridge and soffit vents have the same size openings and provide at least 1 sq. ft. of opening per every 300’ of attic floor. Place the baffles to maintain a path of clear airflow from the soffit vents.

Cap the Hatch: If your attic hatch is unsealed or if you have a whole house fan, you are allowing the heat in your home to escape throwing off temperature regulation. If you cover the hatch or fan with weather-stripped caps made of a foil-faced foam board, you will eliminate your issue.

Exhaust the Outside: The ducts connected to your dryer, kitchen, and bathroom vents should lead outdoors via the walls or roof, not through the soffit. If they are improperly positioned, you may need to relocate them to prevent ice dams.

Add Insulation: Insulation will keep heat inside the home where it belongs. If your attic is not well insulated, locate spaces that require more protection. 

Install Sealed Can Lights: Use insulated IC recessed light fixtures to give off heat and keep temperatures under control. 

Flash Around Chimneys: The gap between the chimney and house framing may be allowing heat to escape. You can keep this from happening by using L-shaped steel flashing held in place with a fire-stop sealant.

Ice dams can be a hazard to your gutters, your roof, and your home. The tips in this article will keep them from forming.

If you encounter a problem, call North Texas Gutters first. We will get your gutters in great shape and take measures to prevent future damage. Find out why we are the first name in gutter repair and installation.

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