How to Prevent Ice Dams

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For areas of the country that are prone to snow, ice dams can be a problem for many homeowners during the winter months. After a snowfall, heat from the attic warms up the roof to melt the snow, except at the eaves. The water from the melted snow then refreezes along the eaves, where it accumulates to form an ice dam. An ice dam can prevent water from draining off the roof, and instead allows it to flow underneath the roof shingles and into your home, causing damage to your walls, ceiling, insulation and other parts of the house.

To help protect your home from ice dams this winter, follow these helpful tips from TAMKO Building Products Inc., the nation’s leading independent manufacturer of residential and commercial roofing products.

  1. Keep the roof cool. A heated attic will cause the snow to melt and refreeze as an ice dam along the edges of the roof. To prevent this from occurring, your attic should be no more than 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. The roof’s underside should be not be warmer than 30°F.
  1. Insulate the attic. In order to maintain a cool temperature in the attic, it needs to be properly insulated and ventilated. An insulated attic will help prevent the melting-freezing cycle that leads to ice dams. Make sure any areas where hot air can leak into the attic from your home are properly sealed, such as chimneys and vent pipes.
  1. Remove snow with a roof rake. After every snowfall, use a long-handled roof rake to remove packed snow from the roof. With a long-handled roof rake, you can remove snow safely from the ground and without damaging the roof.
  1. Maintain clear downspouts. Keep the area around the downspouts clear to prevent standing water from accumulating there and refreezing. Also make sure the rain gutters are free of debris so that the water from melted snow has somewhere to go.

By following this advice from TAMKO Building Products Inc., you can help ward off ice dams and keep your home protected all winter long.

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