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3 Definitive Ways to Prevent an Ice Dam

In Maryland, ice dams are not something to ignore. When ice builds up in the gutters around your home, you’ll notice the creation of icicles. While beautiful, the expanding and contracting of freezing water around your roof’s edge and in your gutters can actually be quite damaging, causing the need to call for roof repairs. To avoid this unnecessary damage, here are some tips from roofing professionals in Gaithersburg, MD that you can use to prevent ice dams from starting in the first place.

1. Insulate the Attic

A common way ice dams form is when the attic is poorly insulated. As heat in your home rises, it eventually ends up in the attic. If your attic isn’t properly insulated, the heat will melt the layer of snow right up against the roof. As the meltwater runs down to your gutter, it re-freezes. To prevent it, you need to make sure that the roof does not have a chance to get hot, so the snow does not melt and re-freeze on the way down. To prevent ice dams, the underside of the roof deck should not go above 30 degrees.

Insulation can help with this. Insulating the attic will help keep the hot air inside the home, rather than allowing it to exit through the attic and into the roof deck. The more insulation in your attic, the less of a problem with ice dams you will find.

2. Seal the Gaps Around your Roof

Any gaps between the house and the attic can allow additional heated air to escape the home and enter the attic. Find gaps in areas like:

  • Edges around sealed can lights
  • Flashing around chimneys
  • Edges and joints of ductwork
  • Areas where pipes or cables penetrate the attic

Seal all of these well to help prevent ice dams.

3. Ventilate Your Roof

Finally, no matter how well insulated or sealed the attic is, some warm air from the home is going to enter , and it needs a place to go. Keep this from contributing to ice dams by ventilating the attic properly. Ventilation ensures that cold air is introduced to the attic space while heated air has a place to escape. This will help keep the roof deck cool and prevent the occurrence of ice dams and the need for roof repair in Gaithersburg in the spring.

If, in spite of your best efforts, you are having a problem with ice dams, it may be time for a professional to take a look. Once the snow melts, call a professional for roof repair in Gaithersburg to see what can be done to prevent future ice dams from forming, and to handle any problems that developed due to the dams you had.

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