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ICE ICE BABY, how to prevent ice dams.

Updated: Apr 15

Ice dams can be a significant issue during cold winter months in MN. These dams can form on the edges of roofs, preventing proper drainage and potentially causing water damage to your home. Here are some preventive measures to help you avoid ice dams:

1.     Proper Insulation:

·        Ensure your attic is well-insulated to prevent warm air from escaping and heating the roof, which can lead to snowmelt.

·        Use insulation with a high R-value and make sure it is evenly distributed to cover the entire attic space.

·        Before adding more insulation, check for air leaks.

2.     Adequate Ventilation:

·        Ensure proper attic ventilation to maintain a consistent temperature. This helps prevent the roof from warming unevenly and causing snow to melt and refreeze at the eaves.

·        Install soffit vents and ridge vents to facilitate a continuous flow of air through the attic.

3.     Sealing Air Leaks:

·        Identify and seal any air leaks in the attic, such as gaps around chimneys, light fixtures, and plumbing vents. This prevents warm air from reaching the roof.

·        Before adding more insulation, check for air leakage.

4.     Ice and Water Shield:

·        Install an ice and water shield under the roofing material, especially along the eaves. This membrane provides an additional layer of protection against water infiltration.

5.     Roof Inspection and Maintenance:

·        Regularly inspect your roof for signs of damage and make necessary repairs promptly.

·        Keep gutters and downspouts clean and free of debris to ensure proper water drainage.

6.     Snow Removal:

·        Safely remove snow from your roof using a roof rake or hire professionals to do so. Do not use tools that could damage the roofing material.

·        Clear snow away from roof edges to prevent the formation of ice dams.

7.     Heated Cables:

·        Install electric heating cables along the roof edges to melt ice and create a path for water drainage. However, this is more of a reactive measure and may not address the root cause of the issue.

·        They do not prevent ice dams, but create drainage channels for the water. .  

By taking these preventive measures, you can reduce the risk of ice dams forming on your roof and minimize the potential for water damage to your home. Regular maintenance and proactive steps can go a long way in ensuring the integrity of your house.

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