Preventing and dealing with ice dams

Controlling ice dams require the regulation of heat loss from houses; for example, houses have been described in Wisconsin that doesn't experience ice dams.

Immediate Action:

  • Removing snow from the roof using roof rakes and brooms eliminates some ingredients essential for ice dam formation.
  • In case of emergencies characterized by the flow of water into the house, it is advisable that one makes holes through the ice dam, which allow water behind the dam to flow.

Long-term action:

  • Install an air-tight ceiling which prevents air that is warm and moist from the house into the roof space.
  • After closing all paths through which air may leak, enhance roof insulation to reduce loss of heat from the house by conduction.

Both the short and long-term actions increase snow load that the roof supports since it (snow) can no longer melt. Since the roofs are built as per roofing regulations determined by the weight of snow roofs, in particular, can support, no struct
ural concerns are likely to arise.

Natural roof ventilation has been proposed to be a possible strategy of maintaining uniform roof temperatures; nevertheless, if properly implemented, the long-term actions described above are implemented; natural roof ventilation done can be negligible.

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