Video: Angie’s list: Tips to Prevent Ice Dams

Video:  Tips from Angie’s list how to prevent an Ice Dam.

WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

With the abnormally cold weather already here this year, things are shaping up for potential Ice Dams.  How do you prevent an Ice Dam from forming, as it can cost you thousands of dollars worth of problems if they are formed.

The number one method to prevent ice dams is to properly insulate your attic.  A common misconception is that you need to put heating cables in your gutters or along the edge of the roof, but this is only a band aid on the real problem of poor insulation.

If you know you have poor insulation problems in your home, it may be too late to fix it this winter so the next step is to make sure snow is removed from your roof edge using a roof rake.  In order to insure no ice dams form, all of the snow on the roof must be removed.  Below is a diagram of how ice dams form.
ice dam formation from poor insulation

The Ice Dam is formed by snow melting on the warm roof from the attic temperature being above freezing.  When outside temperatures are below freezing the snow melt runs to edge of roof where it is colder than the attic and refreezes into an ice dam.

This often looks like pesky icicles that keep growing, but many times are not dealt with until the water gets trapped behind the ice dam and starts dripping into the house.  This happens because the water gets trapped behind the ice and sets there like a little pool.

Roofs are great for shedding water, but do not do well to hold standing water, which finds entry into the home though nail holes and cracks in the plywood underneath the shingles.

If you do get water leaking into your home, it maybe tempting to climb a ladder and beat the ice off, but be careful and you may seriously want to consider hiring  a professional ice dam removal company.

Please feel free to ask any questions and join the discussion below.

*please note this is a video of an Angie’s list interview and the opinions of this website may not represent Angie’s list views.