How to Prevent Ice Dams Without Heat Cables


Winter takes a toll on your home’s exterior, and the roof is no exception. Snow, ice, and sleet all come together for the perfect storm, and as precipitation continually freezes and thaws, ice dams can form along the edge of your roof. 


Why Ice Dams Form

The added moisture from winter’s snow, sleet, and rain creates a problem as the temperature of your roof fluctuates. Ice dams begin to form when the temperature of your roof is warmer than the surrounding air. An ice dam begins when the warm air of your heated home rises to your attic. If the attic is properly ventilated, any warm air that enters your attic will escape to the outside. If not, the air will warm the roof and melt the snow and ice that has settled on it. The runoff from these warmer areas will then flow down the roof towards the eaves, where it will refreeze when it meets the colder temperature at the edge of your roof, forming an ice dam.     


How to Prevent Ice Dams

The most effective way to eliminate ice dams from your roof is to prevent them from forming in the first place. Here are a few ways you can prepare your roof for potential ice dam conditions.



Ensure that the air in your home can escape by establishing a proper ventilation system. Have a roofing expert install a roof ventilation system to help circulate the air under the roof. Also make sure that all of the vents in your home, such as those in the bathroom or laundry room, are directed outside—not into your attic.


Seal Attic

Keep your attic temperature cool by sealing the entire room off from the rest of your home. Check your attic floor and seal the gaps around your pipes, vents, door, windows, and lights.


Increase Insulation

Once you’ve sealed off airways into the attic, ensure that it’s sufficiently insulated to prevent warm air from seeping in. Add supplemental insulation if needed, and don’t forget to insulate the rafters of the attic’s ceiling, as this is the area that triggers ice dams.



If you’ve already experienced damage from ice dams, it’s important to repair your roof as soon as possible.  For exterior home services in Central Iowa, contact the experts at Hedrick Construction. Our team of professionals can assess your roofing system and work to prevent ice dams from ever forming. With more than a decade and a half of experience, Hedrick’s team of construction professionals will ensure that your home’s first line of defense is working properly. Give us a call today! 


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