Ice dams are a problem that can happen to your roof this winter. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to prevent ice dams from forming if you follow these tips.
Add More Insulation
Many ice dams form due to hot spots in the roof. As heat rises to the top of your attic, anywhere that you are lacking insulation is going to cause heat transfer to the surface of the roof. Snow melts and freezes, which causes ice dams to form.
The easy solution to this problem is to apply more insulation to the attic. You can use spray foam to cover the rafters, which will ensure even coverage without any gaps. If you are not up to installing your own spray foam insulation, you can always secure batt insulation to the rafters in a way where the entire surface is covered.
Melt Ice With Heat Cables
Another trick is to use heat cables so that the snow never has a chance to freeze and turn into ice. There is no need to put heat cables across the top of your roof, since those ice dams are likely to form lower on the roof. You want to place them in areas where water tends to collect the most, such as near roof gutters where two slopes come together or along the bottom of the edge of a root before the water would reach the gutters.
Securing the heat cables in a zigzag pattern should be enough to melt the ice as it forms near the bottom of the roof, allowing water to flow into the gutters and the downspouts. You may even need to place heating cables in the downspouts if water is collecting in them and freezing
Rake The Roof
Raking the roof does not mean getting out the leaf rake that you use in the fall. A roof rake is actually a special type of rake that is designed specifically to remove snow from roofs. It has a long telescopic handle that allows you to reach the roof from the ground, so you don't have to risk going up on your roof during the winter. Roof rakes also have wheels so that they can glide over the surface of the roof instead of scraping completely against the surface. The goal is to remove enough snow so that you don't have water build up and create ice dams.
If you have roof damage from ice dams or need more tips to prevent this problem, reach out to a local roofing company.