The Guide to Preventing Ice Dams

As freezing temperatures and snow arrive, eventually the frigid cold will stick around for a while. This gives standing water an opportunity to freeze, and this doesn’t only apply to bodies of water or mud puddles on the road.

This is the time of year when ice dams begin to form. Ice dams are the result of water melting on the roof and sliding down into the gutter system, where the water lands and eventually freezes. Over time, the ice dams may grow larger and become very heavy. The weight of the ice dam can pull the gutters off the house, and it can even pull off part of the roof in the process.

Ice dams are bad news. But the good news is that we can help you learn how to prevent ice dams and the costly damage that comes along with it.

Step 1: Eliminate Air Leaks

Warm air reaching your roof is one of the major reasons why ice dams form. When warm air makes it through your attic and reaches your roof, the snow on the roof top will melt. The water trickles down and sits inside the gutter system, where the ice dam forms.

Eliminating air leaks means looking around for unsealed attic fans, electric outlets, ductwork, and more. Even leaks in the floor can make a difference when it comes to ice dam prevention.

You’ll be able to seal some of the leaks with a caulk gun. If you’re sealing cracks that are exposed to the outdoors, make sure you use silicone caulking since it’s water resistant.

 Attic Insulation

Attic Insulation

Step 2: Add More Attic Insulation

Attic insulation is a great solution for preventing ice dams. Not only will it keep ice dams at bay, it’ll keep your utility bills low.

If you decide to invest in new attic insultation, consider spray foam. This is one of the most energy efficient options on the market and can yield a great return on investment.

 Gutter Guard

Gutter Guard

Step 3: Install Gutter Guards

While gutter protection might not be on the top of your to-do list, getting this installed before the worst weather arrives can do you a lot of favors. Gutter protection keeps your gutter system from getting clogged, which is how water gets trapped. Without debris present in the gutters, water can freely flow away from your home.

When water isn’t standing inside the gutters, it’s impossible to freeze. Even though gutter guards can help with prevent ice dams, they are really one piece of the puzzle in addition to air leakage, attic insulation, and a more energy efficient home.

If you’re worried about ice dams this winter season, Universal Windows Direct can help make your home more energy efficient. Contact us today to learn more.