Roof ice dams form when precipitation gets trapped on your roof and freezes. With nowhere else to go, ice can form under your shingles and lead to rotted materials and water damage to your home. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prevent ice dams.

1. Install and Maintain Gutters
The gutters and downspouts on your roof are essential to making sure rain and snow drain properly away from your house. A professional roofer can install them properly, and regular cleaning keeps them functional.

2. Include Ice and Water Barriers
Your city has a minimum standard for how many rows of ice and water barriers need to be installed on your roof. There’s no reason to just stick to the minimum, though. Your roofer can advise you on how many barriers you need to protect your home.

3. Balance Intake and Exhaust Vents
A common factor that contributes to roof ice dams is a hot attic. The hot air seeps up through the roof, causing ice to melt and refreeze. You can combat this issue by confirming that your attic has the same number of cold air intake vents and warm air exhaust vents.

4. Add Extra Insulation
Another way to keep warm air from escaping your roof is by adding extra insulation. This not only helps prevent ice dams but can also save you money on your utility bill.

5. Consider Heated Roof Cables
Heated roof cables let you heat the roof itself. This prevents ice from forming in the first place. Even in the most extreme winter weather conditions, heated cables help prevent ice dams.

There are several ways to prepare your roof for winter. Preventing roof ice dams not only keeps your roof intact through the coldest months of the year but also protects the structure and the interior of your home from water damage.

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