Ice dams form when warmth from the inside of your home causes snow to melt and trickle to the roofs edge, it then refreezes and forms a solid ridge that water cannot escape. Each day the water melts and tries to flow off the roofs edge. As this occurs each day the water is trapped and runs up under the shingles causing water to leak into your house. There are several steps you can take to prevent this if you are susceptible to this condition.
- Blow off your roof in the fall and have your gutters clear of debris.
- Keep your attic cool and seal off any energy loss into your attics under sheeting.
- Make sure you have good ventilation and air movement from your soffits to your ridge vent.
- Use a roof rake to shovel off snow when spring thaw occurs.
- Fasten a heat tape to your roof and plug it in around February 1st to create a channel for the water to escape.
- If it is to late for heat tape an old fashioned fix is to place a nylon stocking filled with ice-melting chemicals on the ice dam and create a channel for the water to run off. Lay the stocking perpendicular to a gutter near the roof edge.