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Last week, we explored a common issue that plagues home owners; winter ice dams which form on a home’s roof and lead to damage to the roof and other parts of the home. Fortunately, home owners are not helpless against the conditions which cause these dams or the dams themselves. By understanding their home’s roof structure and its strengths and short comings, home owners can select the best approach to mitigate against ice dam formation.
Review your insulation. One of the first places to start when evaluating how to keep warm interior air from escaping and wreaking havoc on your roof is to determine whether your attic ceiling has adequate insulation. As we share on our website, if your home is over 10 years old, there’s a good chance it does not have enough insulation. If you’re in doubt in this area, a professional can help you make an assessment.
Mitigate air leakage. There are common areas for warm air to escape through your roof. These include:

  • Intersection of exterior wall and roof sheath
  • Exhaust fans
  • Light and plumbing fixtures

Consider all the potential sources for air to escape and determine if there is an appropriate way to seal them.
Remove the snow. If there’s not melting snow on your roof, there isn’t the opportunity for ice formation and potentially destructive water pooling when melting occurs. Removing snow from a roof, however, can be dangerous. Therefore, it can be beneficial to use a tool such as a snow rake for your roof.
A final possible consideration is the installation of special rubberized sheets inserted underneath your shingles in locations where water collects on your roof. However, this approach may only help limit damage and not eliminate it like other steps.
Ultimately, if you’re not sure how best to assess your home’s issues which are leading to the formation of ice dams, consult a Detroit roofing specialist.