How to Prevent Ice Dams

One of the most common problems that cause damage to roofs during the winter is the formation of ice dams.  Avoid them this year by using the following tips:

Image Source: Flickr

Roof rake
Use a roof rake during heavy snow: As mentioned earlier, ice dams happen quickly after a heavy snow because of the insulating properties of snow. Removing at least the lower 4 feet of snow from the roof edge, using a roof rake, can help prevent ice dams from forming. A roof rake is like a shovel that is turned on its side and has a very long handle, allowing you to safely pull snow off the roof while on the ground. Never get onto a roof to remove snow.  Source: TheSpruce

Roof salt
This non-corrosive ice melt especially designed for roofing material is available at most big box retail stores and home improvement centers. Sold under a range of commercial names, these are also called roof socks or melt sleeves. The ice melt is poured into a long mesh tube, generally around two feet long, and sealed at both ends. The sock is placed perpendicular to the edge of the roof, so that in the event an ice dam tries to form, the ice melt will always provide a drainage channel through the ice. You can place these roof socks at strategic points on the roof to prevent buildup of ice and snow. Source: RentPrep

Address the cause
If you’ve ever had an ice dam, it’s likely that the moisture barrier and insulation in your attic is inadequate. Schedule an inspection with a contractor who can suggest how to prevent further ice dams from forming. In most cases, you’ll need to add additional insulation to your attic or at least install a wide piece of metal flashing along the edges of the roof to prevent more leaks. Don’t wait for another ice dam; leaks can cause the structural members of your roof to rot. Source: YellowPages

Have your roof checked before winter fully kicks in. Contact us today!


Kerrisdale Roofing & Drains
8279 Ross St, Vancouver, BC V5X 4W1
(604) 360-2114

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