Preventing Ice Dams From Damaging Your Home

Ice Dams are an unfortunate part of living in our climate.  It’s a given in our region of BC that the temperature drops below freezing and stays there for extended periods of time.

What Is An Ice Dam?

If you have gutters installed on your home or building, you could have a problem with ice dams. When the temperature drops low enough to freeze, it even freezes the snow or ice in your gutters.  This blocks the water from runoff.  As the weather always does, it warms up a bit and the ice starts to melt.

When the weather warms up enough to start melting the ice, it will melt the first layer and then back up onto the roof because it has nowwhere to go. If there is a freeze again, then the ice and water can actually get right underneath the shingles or other roofing material and you have a problem.

Water can leak into the house, causing water damage to your insulation, ceilings and walls.

How Can You Prevent Ice Dams From Occuring?

One way to prevent ice dams from damaging your home is to make sure you have proper insulation and ventilation in your attic. This will help eliminate hot spots on your roof  that allows the snow and ice to melt unevenly in the first place.

Another ice dam prevention technique is to use heat tapes. This is usually a set of cables that include electric heating wires.  They are installed along the edge of your roof just above your gutters and sometimes even in the gutter itself. The heat will keep the snow and ice from freezing solid and building up, in and around your gutters.

There are other products that you can have installed if you are putting on new roofing or are constructing a new home. These go directly on the wood decking, running along the edges of your roof.  They create a water tight seal far enough under the roofing material that ice dams won’t be able to cause damage.  This method won’t prevent the ice dams from occurring it will only help prevent the water from getting into your home.

TRS Gutters can help you to assess any potential problems with your roof and ice dams.  We are your local Castlegar, Nelson, Trail and Kootenay Gutter and Roofing specialists.