Ice dams are a common problem in areas that have cold winters, such as Connecticut. It’s important to understand what they are, how they form, and how to prevent them and to take steps now to protect your home this winter.

What Are Ice Dams?

When snow on a roof melts, water flows down toward the gutters and eaves, comes into contact with colder air, and refreezes. That causes ice dams to form. They may look like icicles hanging from the edge of the house, or they may be larger masses of ice.

Ice dams can be so heavy that they damage gutters, roofing, and siding. They can cause injuries if they fall and strike a person and can also damage cars and landscaping.

How Can You Prevent Ice Dams?

Keeping the roof and eaves the same temperature can prevent ice dams. Instead of warm air causing snow to melt quickly and refreeze, snow will melt gradually, and water will drain through the gutters.

Insulating the roof deck and sealing gaps where heat can escape, such as around ducts, wires, vents, and chimneys, can help. Insulation can prevent warm indoor air from reaching the roof, keep the roof at a low temperature, and prevent fast melting of snow.

Ventilating the attic can also be helpful. That can allow warm air to escape and let cold air enter so the roof doesn’t get too warm. Ridge and soffit vents can allow air to circulate under the roof to maintain a consistent temperature.

How Can You Remove Snow from Your Roof?

The weight of several inches of snow can cause roof damage, so you should remove at least some snow after a major storm. If your roof has a low slope, you may be able to use a push broom to pull snow off it. If the roof has a steeper slope and is only one story high, you may be able to use a roof rake to pull down most of the snow. If you can’t remove snow yourself, hire a contractor.

Schedule a Roof Inspection

If you had a problem with ice dams last year and you didn’t make repairs, you can expect the same thing to happen again this winter, unless you take steps to prevent it. JS and R Roofing has a team of experienced professionals who can inspect your roof, fix any existing damage caused by ice dams, and make changes to help you avoid experiencing the same problem again. Contact us today to make an appointment to have your roof inspected.