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What Are Ice Dams and How Do You Prevent Them?

Ice dams can form along the lower edge of your roofline if you live in a climate that experiences frigid winters with regular snowfall. This ice formation can weigh hundreds of pounds, putting a massive strain on your roof that can compromise its structural integrity. Ice dams can also cause moisture to seep through the roofing shingles, leading to a leak inside your home.

What Are Ice Dams And How Do You Prevent Them

Read on as Mass-Tech Roofing and Building Co., one of the top local roofing companies, explains everything you need to know about ice dams and ice dam prevention.

What Are Ice Dams?

The warm air beneath your roof heats the shingles and melts the snow on the roof. This snowmelt drips down your roof until it reaches the eaves, where it refreezes. The ice builds up and creates a blockage. Ice dams form when the attic space or the underside of the roof deck is above the freezing point. They usually form after heavy snowfall due to the snow’s insulating properties.

Large ice dams can be a safety hazard and significantly damage your roof. Make sure to contact your roofing contractor as soon as you notice damage on your roof due to ice dams.

Ways to Prevent Ice Dams

Around one-third of the heat loss in your home occurs in the attic, usually from air leaks caused by drywall gaps and cracks around light fixtures. Heat can also escape through plumbing pipes, the chimney and other ceiling penetrations. By sealing air leaks, you can prevent ice dams and also reduce your energy costs.

Ensuring the air in the attic doesn’t get too warm is the best way to avoid this problem. As long as your attic stays sufficiently cold, the snow on top of the roof won’t melt, which means ice dams won’t form. You can achieve this with adequate ventilation under the roof deck, insulating the ceiling and blocking heat sources that increase the attic temperature.

At Mass-Tech Roofing and Building Co.​, we’re here for all your commercial and residential roofing needs. We specialize in asphalt shingles, wood, rubber, metal roofing and more. Call us at (781) 826-7663 or fill out our contact form to request a quote.

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