How to safeguard your home from ice dam formation

Unpredictable winter weather can wreak havoc for millions of Americans across the country, leaving them cold and reaching to crank up the thermostat. Those living in areas where the temperatures can plummet to subzero, and snow and ice are a certainty – Maine, for example – are all too familiar with what the season brings.

Staying warm and comfortable throughout the colder months is a high priority, which usually means high heating bills, multiple layers of clothing and warming soups. However, what can often be overlooked is the home itself.

For instance, icicles forming on the eaves trough may be beautiful to look at, but can often be the result of a serious problem inside the home’s roof.

Icicles form as the result of a poorly insulated attic or roof. Warm air travels up through gaps in the ceiling into the attic or roof space. The warm air escapes through the roof to cause any snow that has accumulated, to melt.

As the melted snow runs off the roof, it begins to re-freeze as it nears the colder temperatures of the eaves. This creates an ice dam.

Ice dam formation can cause a range of problems, which if left unaddressed, can quickly become a very expensive problem to fix.

Ice dams can place a large amount of structural stress on your eaves trough. The excess weight can eventually drive the eaves trough to detach from the house.

Additionally, the continual build-up of ice can lift shingles, allowing melted snow to penetrate into the roof and leak into the home. The ingress of moisture alone can cause all sorts of potential problems, from unsightly water stains to damage to electrical work.

Read more: How to safeguard your home from ice dam formation