Avoiding Ice Dams This Winter

icicles hanging off roof of a house


While glistening icicles hanging from your roof might look picturesque, they could also be a sign that something bad is lurking under your roof. Unfortunately, winter in New England means that it is also ice dam season and icicles may be a sign that they are forming at your house.

Ice dams are formed when heat rises from the attic of your home and melts sections of the snow on your roof. When the water flows down your roof and hits the colder spots not impacted by heat leaving your house it re-freezes, causing a buildup of ice or an ice dam. As more snow melts and freezes and the ice dam gets bigger it prevents water from flowing off your roof and it flows back into your house, eventually coming through your ceiling.

Here are some things you can do to prevent ice dams:

Make sure your attic is adequately insulated.

-When safe to do so try to keep your roof clear of built-up snow, they make roof rakes for this very purpose. If you are not able to clear the roof safely yourself, contact a professional.

-Use a nylon stocking filled with calcium chloride to lay across forming ice dams to create a path for the water to flow down off your roof. This is a temporary fix but can help if you find yourself dealing with an already formed ice dam.

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