When it comes to winterizing your home, there are so many nooks and crannies where water can hide. If this water goes undetected, it can damage both the interior and exterior of your home. One source of damage you should keep an eye out for this winter are ice dams. Luckily, ice dams are easily preventable if you follow these easy steps:

What are ice dams?

Ice dams are when layers of ice accumulate on the edges of your roof and can be potentially dangerous. This is caused by a difference in temperature between the cold, fallen snow and heat rising from the house’s interior. The heat rising from the house’s interior causes the snow to melt and the water to run down towards the edge of the roof. Since the edges of the roof tend to be coldest, this is where the water will refreeze in a thin layer which causes ice dams to form.

Ice dams shouldn’t be confused with icicles, though icicles can be a sign that an ice dam has formed on your roof. Ice dams can damage your roof by causing water to pool on top or even to seep into your home by causing gaps to form in between your roof covering or shingles. 

How to prevent ice dams

The main reason that ice dams force is because water gets caught at the edges of roofs. To make sure that melting snow does not collect in one spot on your roof clean out your rain gutters, drains and downspouts regularly.

Ice dams also form because of the harsh difference in outdoor versus interior temperature. If you have a heating source located in your attic, consider relocating it to prevent ice dams from forming. Similarly, make sure that your attic is well insulated to prevent heat from escaping and causing your roof to heat up and for the snow to melt.

Fixing damage caused by ice dams

If your roof is already damaged or you experience ice dams frequently, schedule a call with one of home renovation professionals. There are several easy ways to correct ice dams from occurring including, waterproofing the shingle underlayment and installing heating cables. These both will help fix damage caused by former ice dams. To ensure future damage from occurring homeowners should consult with a home improvement expert to see what other measures can be taken.