What is an Ice Dam?

Ice Dams occur when heavy snow buildup melts during the day and then refreezes when temperatures drop overnight. This is most common in northern climates but can happen anywhere that receives heavy snow.

After several days of the snow melting and then refreezing, this can result in the melted water and ice working up under the shingles until a leak occurs. This can eventually lead to damaged drywall.

Is it possible to prevent an Ice Dam?

There is no way to guarantee an ice dam won’t occur and damage your home. But there are steps you can take to help prevent the ice dam from occurring in the first place:

  • Keep your gutters clean. Be sure to clean out all debris, leaves, sticks, etc from your gutters and downspouts. This gives the melting snow a way to flow away from your roof.
  • Evaluate the insulation of your attic. The insulation in the attic prevents heat and moisture escaping from the home.
  • Ensure you have enough ventilation in your attic. Your home should have plenty of intake and exhaust vents. Good airflow in your attic allows the attic air to stay cold enough to minimize the freeze/thaw cycle on the roof.
  • Your bathroom exhaust fans should be vented correctly to the roof. If not, the hot wet air from the bathroom will go directly into the attic.

If you suspect that you need help with any of these items, we suggest talking to a qualified insulation or roofing contractor. If you are in the St. Louis Metro area, call us at 314-344-3434 and we would be happy to help.