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What Are Ice Dams & How Can I Protect My Home Against Them?

Updated: May 31, 2023

If you live in Northwest Indiana, it’s important to be prepared for the worst weather conditions so your home will stay protected from ice dams. Ice dams can be damaging to your home, so it’s good to know how to prevent them as well as how to treat them if you don’t catch the problem early enough. Here are the ins and outs of what an ice dam is, how to prevent them from forming on your roof, and what you should do if one does form anyway.

What is an ice dam?

Ice dams are a major concern for homeowners during the winter months. They form when snow and ice on your roof melt, then refreeze at night, trapping water in between layers of ice and snow. As the day goes on and the sun heats up your roof, that trapped water can turn into liquid, seeping down under the shingles in your attic. This is called wicking, and it can lead to water damage inside your home as well as health risks from mold growth.

Diagram of a house showing an ice dam forming on a roof and water penetrating through the roof

How can I tell if I have ice dams on my roof?

Four key indicators that your roof has an ice dam include:

  • Icicles or ice build-up along your gutters or the edge of your roof

  • Interior wall or ceiling water damage

  • Gutters are not properly draining

  • Snow that has melted at the top of your roof, but not at the lower

How do I keep ice dams from forming on my roof?

The key factor to preventing ice dams from forming is preventive maintenance; this includes clearing as much snow off of the roof as possible before it has a chance to melt. You also want to make sure your gutters are free of debris so that when it melts, all the water is able to drain off of your roof and away from your home.

Unless you're an experienced roofer, climbing up on your roof involves a great deal of risk for your safety and is not recommended - especially when there is snow and/or ice on your roof. At Gluth Brothers Roofing, we offer Roof Snow Removal Services that prevents ice dams from forming, thus saving you from thousands of dollars of potential damage to your home.

Get a free estimate for Roof Snow Removal Services today!


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