Ice dams are large ridges of thick ice that can accumulate around the eaves of your home and prevent necessary drainage. Ice dams are usually caused by poor insulation in an attic or roof. When snow starts to melt on the roof it will drain down the incline into your gutter, unless temperatures are below freezing in which case the water will collect at the edges of the eaves and begin to freeze. Over time the ice dam can grow larger and larger preventing water from passing through to the gutters. The trapped meltwater then seeps under the shingles which can cause water damage in the roof and on walls/ceilings within your home.
You may be at risk for ice dams if...
Once snow reaches a trigger depth of your choosing on the roof we will...
This is all preventative snow removal prior to an ice dam developing.
1/3 of heat loss in is through your ceiling into your attic. This is caused by air leaks caused by unblocked walls, drywall gaps, cracks around light fixtures, plumbing pipes, chimneys, and access hatches. These can be tough to stop.
Keep an eye on your attic insulation level/depth. Building codes require anywhere from 12-14 inches of fiber glass or cellulose. These work much better than hand placed batting. They fill more tightly around rafters, joists, and other obstructions, which helps prevent gaps and heat loss.
Attic ventilation is necessary to draw in cold outdoor air and flush out warmer attic air to cool the attic and the roof. The best thing is to have roof and soffit vents installed. Keeping the roof cool will help to prevent the formation of ice dams in the first place.