Every Calgary AB homeowner’s worst nightmare are ice dams. The worst thing about it: you can’t get rid of them with just a simple snow brushing. True enough, ice dams are an inevitable part of winter, and knowing ice dam prevention methods can ultimately save your roof.

In this post, you’ll know about the most effective ice dam prevention products, and ice dam prevention for metal roof, asphalt shingle, tiles, and others.

Indeed, ice dam attacks are quite unexpected. However, by knowing the right way to deal with the situation, you can definitely prevent ice dams from penetrating and ultimately causing troublesome roof leaks.

The Ultimate Ice Dam Prevention Guide

  1. What Are Ice Dams?
  2. Ice Dam Prevention Methods (5 Tips)
  3. Removing Ice Dams During Winter
  4. Dealing with Ice Dams Hassle-Free

What Are Ice Dams?

When it’s snowing in Calgary AB, you’re in for a real treat. True enough, every child and adult enjoys the first arrival of snow. However, when it piles up and becomes a nuisance, it can definitely cause huge problems.

Ice dams are one of these big problems. Its sub-level temperatures will damage your roof, its gutter system, the acrylic paint on metal roofs, insulation, and even your interior drywall. They appear when snow on your roof melts on an uneven part of your roof, which is usually warm.

Then, the accumulating ice will back up under your roof’s shingles or cavities, melt, and eventually soak the roof underlayment. The nightmare begins when they start leaking into the attic, which will mess up your insulation.

In short, it’s a troublesome problem. However, any homeowner with ice dam prevention knowledge can reduce the likelihood of its development, and its problematic effects.

ice dams damaging exterior walls and overflowing from gutters

Excessive ice dams can damage your exterior walls too.

Ice Dam Prevention Methods

Proper Internal Roof Ventilation

As the earlier section mentions, attic heat will melt roof snow, which is the primary cause of ice dams. The simplest method to remove ice dams is to keep your attic at a stable temperature. Unfortunately, hot air from your thermostat will seep into the attic and increase its temperature ever so often.

A soffit-and-ridge vent system allows your attic to provide continuous airflow in your attic. The soffits will take in the outside temperatures acting as a cooling shield that lowers the attic’s temperature.

In doing so, it prevents the internal heat from melting snow on the roof. The ridge or roof ventilation systems will then release the cold air coming inside the soffit.

Minimizing Attic Heat Sources

One effective ice dam prevention method that works every time is to remove or minimize all heat sources in your attic. In short, never place a heater in your attic. Additionally, mind the use of light bulbs and other light devices in your attic.

Light bulbs and fluorescent lights can generate additional attic heat. On the other hand, make sure to check your ductwork for proper insulation and vent fans that pass through the attic. These are primary causes of heat buildup in most situations, which lead to inevitable and destructive ice dams.

Improved Attic Insulation

Your living space can have the best thermostat and warms the interior of every room in the property. Unfortunately, warm air can leak into your attic with poor attic floor insulation. Indeed, you’ll need to inspect your attic floor’s insulating materials every now and then.

The ceiling underneath your attic is another factor when it comes to increasing attic room heat. If your ceiling has punctures or leaks, attic temperatures will definitely increase and cause ice dams. Therefore, maintaining every aspect and insulation of your attic room is a truly important part of ice dam prevention.

Frequent Gutter Maintenance

Most Calgary AB homeowners ask “do gutters cause ice dams?” In fact, most ask “how do you get rid of ice dams in gutters?” True enough, effective ice dam prevention methods ask you to keep your gutter systems in proper working order.

A great way to keep your gutters clean is to remove all kinds of debris, leaves, dried animal droppings, and other issues existing on your gutters. Then, clear your downspouts of any probable internal issues by flushing it with a strong torrent of water from your garden hose.

If this doesn’t solve the issue, you can try numerous ways to clean your downspouts before the winter season goes into full swing.

ice dams formed due to excessive gutter debris

Ice dams often form from frozen water and debris inside your gutters, so make sure to clean them regularly!

Using Electric Heat Tapes

Electric heat tapes allow your roof to melt light snow, which eventually goes into your gutters and out of your roof. True enough, it is a practical ice dam prevention method, but using it extensively on heavy snowmelt does not make it a good idea.

Using electric heat tapes en masse allows you to melt or vaporize snowmelt in between your roof shingles, which prevents underlayment absorption.

However, excessive attic warming due to electric tapes will lead to ice dam development. To avoid this counter-productive event from happening, use electric heat tapes sparingly and attach them close to your gutter and downspout systems.

Can You Remove Massive Ice Dams During Winter?

It’s easy to forget an ice dam attack during spring or summer. True enough, most homeowners have to fix ice dam problems during winter and it’s a huge effort to remove. You only have limited options, but still these can reduce the damage ice dams cause to your roof.

Ice dams happen quickly right after heavy snowfall. You can use a rake to remove the lower four feet of snow from the roof edge. In doing so, you can prevent ice dams from forming. You won’t need to get on a ladder to use roof rakes because they have a very long handle that reaches onto your roof.

Next, you can use calcium chloride for ice dams. These chemicals will melt the top snow and reduce its layers achieving the same results as using rakes. However, make sure you have clear gutters and downspouts to prevent further ice dam growth.

Lastly, if nothing can be done about the snow outside, it is vital to learn how to deal with leaks from the inside instead. In doing so, you prevent excessive water damage to your property until you can contact professional help.

roofing contractor clearing ice dams on top of roof

Only trust roofing contractors to help you remove all the snow from your roof before they turn into ice dams!

The Best Hassle-Free Method of Removing Ice Dams

When you have ice dams in the middle of winter, it can be next to impossible how to resolve internal roof leaks. In situations where roof rakes and calcium chloride cannot help reduce internal roof leaks, you can call a professional ice dam removal contractor.

If you have yet to find an excellent roofer in Calgary AB with top-tier experience and knowledge, you can count on No Payne Roofing to help you. With decades of experience providing superior residential roofing services including ice dam clearing and roof repairs and replacement, we can definitely handle anything you need. Contact us today!