6 More Weeks Of Winter, It’s time to have a conversation about Ice Dams.

By: Advocate Brokerage

house with ice dams

We’ve been experiencing a pretty cold and snowy winter and now that our friendly neighborhood groundhog has predicted 6 more weeks of Winter, it is time to have a conversation about Ice Dams. When temperatures begin creeping above the freezing mark like they are this week and then dipping back down again, the environment is right for Ice Dams to form.

An ice dam is a solid formation of ice at the edge of your roof (sometimes they take the form of icicles, but ice dams can be present even when icicles are not). The trouble with an Ice Dam is that the solid ice at the edge of your roof creates a barrier that prevents the snow that is melting from running off your roof, into your gutter system and safely away from the foundation of your home.


When an ice dam forms it can cause significant damage.

An ice dam forms when the heat from inside your home rises to your attic and warms the underside of the roof (this is a natural process). This warm air against your roof melts the snow but as the melting snow begins to run off the roof and reaches the eaves (that is the part of your roof that extends beyond the walls), the snow can refreeze creating a thick layer of ice.


Once that thick ice barrier is created, it takes a long time to melt. Which means the snow that is sitting on your roof has nowhere to go when it melts. This creates a back up that can loosen shingles, soak attic insulation and seep into walls. The ice dam itself can be heavy and the pressure created can rip your gutters off which can lead to structural damage of your home.


How Can I Keep An Ice Dam From Occurring?

In order to keep ice dams from happening, you need to try to keep the attic cool so there is less thawing and refreezing on your roof. Insulating the attic floor can help to minimize the amount of heat that rises to your roof. You can also keep the attic ventilated so that the cold air outside can circulate and reduce the overall temperature in your attic.

If you feel you can do some snow removal on your own and remain unharmed, please follow these tips for snow removal:

  • Our preferred method is that you contact a professional to come out and remove the snow.
  • If you have a flat or low sloping roof, you can use a push broom to remove snow.
  • If you have a sloped roof, stand on the ground and use a roof rake to remove the snow.
  • DO NOT use a snow blower or shovel
  • DO NOT try to chip or break up the ice dam, it will likely cause damage to your roof.


For us, it’s about more than insurance. Your safety and the structural integrity of your home is important to us at Advocate Brokerage. If you have any questions or concerns regarding ice dams, the damage they can cause your home or specifics as they relate to your homeowner’s insurance, we encourage you to give us a call. We are here for you!

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