How to Prevent Ice Dams from Forming on Your Roof in Winter

Keeping heavy snow loads away from the roof is the best way to reduce the chances of ice dams forming and of the roof breaking down due to weight. To ensure that you never have to worry about ice accumulations again, a combination of snow removal, insulation and the installation of gutter helmets is recommended. The first step is to keep gutters and water vents free of snow and icicles all winter long. To prevent ice buildup on your roof, it is important to reduce heat transfer.

This can be done by covering the roof's natural ventilation systems with snow, which will reduce attic ventilation rates. A roofing professional can help with this by using a shovel to remove excess snow from the roof and steam channels through the ice dam to help it melt. For ice dams to form, there must be snow on the roof and, at the same time, the highest parts of the outer surface of the roof must be above 32 degrees F (freezing point), while the lower surfaces are below 32 °F. To ensure proper ventilation, a qualified roofing professional should develop an attic ventilation system.

This system should include exhaust ducts near the top of the roof and attic ventilation grilles along the bottom of the roof eaves and in the ceiling. Using a lightweight roof rake, such as the Snow Joe roof rake, is also an effective way to prevent ice buildup and snow from causing roof problems. This should be done with a 21-foot extension for best results. Additionally, a professional system such as Warmzone's RoofHeat de-icing system can be installed under roof tiles by a qualified roofing company at the same time as installing new roof tiles.