icicle gleaning from rooftop outdoors

Ice Dam Prevention: How to Do It

Roofing in Calgary: How to prevent ice dams

Glistening icicles hanging from a roof amongst the snowy scenery might look quaint and picturesque, but the icicles could be more hazardous to you and your home than you might realize. Ice dams can cause a great deal of damage to your roof, and the walls of a home can impact the insulation and ceiling of the home’s exterior and can even cause mould to appear around the exterior and interior of a house. It can be expensive to repair the damages caused by ice dams, and roofing Calgary professionals will have to be contacted in some cases to undertake the repairs for you.

To avoid paying out of pocket for damages that can be circumvented, learn about the preventive measures you can take so you don’t have to worry about ice dams in winter.

What is an ice dam?

When winter comes and a constant cycle of freezing and thawing starts, that is when ice dams begin to form. When a layer of snow arrives on your roof, it begins to warm the air within the attic below. A warmed attic begins to thaw the snow, and the melted snow drifts down to the edges of the roof. When the snow now located at the edges of the roof cannot drain properly, it will begin to freeze, and thus, ice dams are formed. 

How do ice dams affect the roof and home?

As the constant freezing and thawing cycle continues throughout the winter, the ice dams will begin to spread upward on the roof. Water from the ice dams will make its way into shingles on the roof, eventually seeping into the home’s interior. Once the water leaks into the home, it can ruin any insulation that is installed, causing ice dams to grow because warm air will begin to rise to the attic. According to Canadian insurance companies like SGI Canada, ice dams can cause water to enter the home where mould can grow accessible. Water damage can also begin to impact the structural integrity of a house due to ice dams. 

Cleaning gutters

When the snow and ice melt, it tends to go into the gutters where ice dams are usually formed. Ice dams are more likely to formulate in gutters that are filled with leaves and debris, where the thawed snow and ice cannot be drained properly. To prevent this from happening, clean your gutters during the fall to ensure nothing is obstructing them and when winter arrives, break off the icicles that may surround the gutters. 

Gutter ice dams on the roof of a house during a warm day of winter

Raking off the snow load

Snow gathering on the roof that is bound to melt will contribute to ice dams forming. Make sure snow that piles on the roof is kept to a minimum by using tools, like a roof rake, to get the snow off the top of your home. This can prove dangerous, and hiring a professional to do it for you is the safest route. 

Insulated attic

The attic should be well insulated and ventilated to reduce the risk of ice dams wreaking havoc on your home. Installing quality insulation and ventilation into the attic portion of the house will ensure that the heat will stay confined in your home without drifting up into the attic, causing snow to melt and ice dams to likely form. Contact roofing Calgary companies for efficient and prompt installation before the winter to install a ventilation system and insulation. 

City Roofing & Exteriors consistently takes pride in serving Calgarians. At City Roofing, we understand the importance of customer satisfaction. We put safety, quality work and on time delivery as our top priority. We work hard to assist our customers in providing proper roofing systems to meet their budget and needs. We offer completed roofing services in Calgary and area on both residential and commercial projects. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our work and recommend City Roofing as your roofing consultant and contractor. Give us a call at 403-608-9933 or send an email to [email protected].

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