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Better Roofing: Causes, Prevention, and Removal of Ice Dams

Ice dams are a common problem for many homeowners during winter. If left alone, ice dams can lead to roof leaks, which can cause all kinds of water damage to your home.

Ice Dams

What causes these pesky ice dams to form, and what can homeowners do to prevent them? We at A&A Services answer these questions and more:

What is an ice dam, and what causes it to form?

An ice dam is an accumulation of ice formed at the edge of a roof once the melted snow on your roof refreezes. When the freezing air touches the meltwater, it will form a dam, resulting in layers of ice dripping through the roof edge. Attempts at removing ice dams can cause leaking and cracking on your roofing in Peabody MA.

How do I prevent ice dam formation?

  • When your house is being constructed, ask your contractor to provide adequate insulation and roof ventilation.
  • As much as possible, keep your roof cold and don’t let it retain any heat. This way, snow on your roof will eventually dissipate without forming large amounts of meltwater.
  • Keep temperatures low. You can do this by making sure that there is enough insulation and by sealing areas that allow warm air from inside the house to leak into your attic. This includes your chimneys, exhaust fans, light fixtures, and vent pipes.
  • Preventing ice dams might be impossible if you have a furnace in the attic. If this is the case, ask your trusted contractor to increase your insulation to prevent condensation buildup that can cause your roof deck to divide in layers.

What should I do if I have ice dams on my roof?

  • Manually remove snow from your roof using a roof rake.
  • Make sure that the area around your downspouts is clear. This prevents standing water from collecting meltwater near the downspouts.
  • Melt ice dams by stuffing a nylon stocking with calcium chloride ice melt. Then very carefully place it vertically across the ice dams.
  • Seek professional help. It’s always safest to have your trusted contractors remove the ice dams themselves.

If you have other questions about ice dams not covered here, feel free to contact us. A&A Services has been serving homeowners for over 30 years now. We offer various products and services for roofing, gutters, siding, doors, replacement windows, and more. For quality Peabody MA roofing services, call us today at (978) 741-0424.


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