Ice Dam Problems & How to Prevent Them

heating cables ice dam

Regardless of the size of your home, ice dam problems can be the bane of your existence. While their tough exterior or exhausting removal process causes major problems on their own, the challenges presented by an ice dam do not end there. From damaging your roof to risking your safety, these pesky walls of ice are full of bad news for any property owner.  


That is why you need to look into reliable roof ice dam solutions to protect your home and business from these concerning walls of ice. These preventative measures may require some attention from your end. But they effectively save your property from these ice dams and their associated effects.


Ice Dam Prevention


ice dams on roof usa


In areas with low temperatures, ice dams usually form on typical home roofs and commercial flat roofs alike. But they don’t appear all of a sudden.


After your roof gets covered in snow, natural sunlight and an increase in temperature can cause the collected snow to melt on its own. But sometimes, the melted snow water does not run down the gutter system as intended. Instead, this melted water freezes along the way due to cold spots or constructional angles on your roof. This usually happens along the edge of the roof.


This frozen water then turns into small blocks of ice, which can easily grow and form tough ice dams. In turn, these ice dams can prevent any melted snow water from clearing your roof at all. As a result, while these ice dam problems keep growing, your roof continues to experience the corresponding damage.


But removing these ice dams isn’t as easy as shoveling off the snow. Unlike flurry snow, these tough ice dams are frozen to your roof. Removing them requires immense strength, targeted precision, and professional equipment. Even then, you run the risk of damaging your roof during the removal process.


Due to this reason, you need effective roof ice dam solutions that keep these ice dams from growing to a problematic extent. But age-old tips such as throwing salt along the edges can only go so far. Whereas, breaking these ice walls without the right skill set can take hours of manual labor and cause excessive damage.


In comparison, the right solutions are purpose-built for ice dam prevention, which allows them to solve these problems from their foundation. Instead of trying random tips that have a high chance of failure, you should prefer choosing these targeted practices that prevent ice dams from forming in the first place.


Common Ice Dam Problems


common ice dam problems


To pay proper attention to the ice dam prevention process, you must learn the risks that ice dams bring to the table. This helps you understand the intensity of the situation and lets you compare the costs of preventive investment to possible damage. 

With that in mind, here’s a lowdown on common ice dam issues that can harm your property.


Roof Damage


One of the most common ice dam problems is standing water on the roof. This happens when these ice dams block melted snow water. This issue can cause water damage to your roof and influence its material to break down. 


Leaking Roof


When the corresponding water damage destroys your roof, some of the first signs include a leaking roof. This leakage can stay within a single spot or show up at multiple areas of your property, which can then grow the extent of related water damage.


Internal Water Damage


When water seeps through your roof and reaches the inside of your building, it can cause all types of water damage problems. Along with destroying your property, it can also lead to mold growth that directly affects your health.


Sinking Roof


Ice dams are quite heavy. That is why their constant weight on your roofing structure can be highly detrimental to your roof. Without effective roof ice dam solutions in place, your roof’s weakened structure can cause significant problems that go beyond small leaks.


Damaged Gutters


If ice dams form along with your gutter system, their excessive weight can also take its toll on these intricate fixtures. In many cases, the gutters and downspout can break under pressure, which causes further damage to your property through excessive leakage. 


Other ice dam problems such as exterior wall damage and safety risks from icicle drops also remain in place along with these issues. That is why it’s critical to take active measures that prevent and resolve ice dams from your property.


How to Prevent Ice Dams


how to prevent ice dams


You can take choice actions to prevent ice dams. Some of these measures directly relate to making constructional improvements around your home, while others target ice dam prevention as purpose-built solutions. 

In terms of constructional improvements, you can look into measures including but not limited to the following: 


Improving insulation.


Poor insulation can cause cold spots along your roof and affect the movement of melted water. To address this problem, make sure to install proper insulation along your roof. 


Ensuring proper ventilation.


Any ducts in the building should exhaust to the outside and not interact with your roof’s outer edges or soffit. This also prevents cold spots and stands out as one of the most effective roof ice dam solutions.


Sealing your attic hatch.


An uncovered attic hatch can cause air to escape from your attic and lead to cold spots on the roof. Make sure to seal the hatch with proper weatherstripping material. 


Putting flashing around the chimney.


Chimneys can also give off unrequired air to the outside of the roof, causing melted snow water to freeze. Installing flashing around the chimney can prevent this issue.


Installing specialized solutions.


Looking into specialized solutions for ice dam problems can do wonders. For instance, self-regulating heating cables or panels can instantly melt tough ice dams without a problem.


By looking into specific improvements, you can reduce your chances of encountering ice dams. But they can still form from time to time. That is where specialized solutions such as an ice melt system can help you get rid of ice dams without damaging your roof.


Contact Us for the Ideal Ice Dam Prevention Solutions 


Established several years ago, HotEdge’s heating cables and systems provide ideal ice melt solutions for roofs and gutter systems. Whether you have roofing shingles or a rubber roof, our cables can keep them safe from ice dams without any added risk of damage. 


Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss the efficacy of our solutions for your specific situation. We will be pleased to understand your requirements and help you find the ideal ice melt products right away.



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