Key Takeaways:

  1. If not addressed, ice dams can result in substantial harm to your roof, gutters, and even the interior of your home
  2. . Maintaining adequate insulation and ventilation can maintain a consistent roof temperature, mitigating the risk of uneven thawing and refreezing.
  3.  Routinely clearing your gutters and downspouts can proactively avert the formation of blockages.
  4. Heat cables can be a helpful tool in preventing dams from forming. Still, a professional roofer should install them to avoid potential damage.
  5. Removing dams safely is essential to prevent further damage to your home, and there are effective ways to remove them.
  6. Long-term solutions for preventing dams include upgrading insulation and ventilation, repairing the roof, and installing a water-resistant roofing option.

Your roof is an essential home structure, protecting you and your family from the elements. But it can be at risk when the freezing winter weather sets in. According to a report by the Insurance Information Institute, winter storms cause over $6 billion in insured losses yearly. Ice dams are among the biggest threats to your roof during the winter. These thick ridges of ice that form along the edges of your roof can cause severe damage, leading to leaks, water damage, and even mold.

If you’re dealing with this winter issue or want to be prepared, this blog post is for you. Absolute Roofing and Construction, Inc. will share ten ways to deal with them. From prevention to removal to long-term solutions, we’ve got you covered.

Understanding Ice Dams

What are They?

They are a common winter problem that can wreak havoc on your home’s roof. Simply put, they are thick ice ridges forming along the roof edge, trapping melting snow and water. These dams can cause significant damage to your roof, gutters, and even your home’s interior if left untreated.

How do They Form?

It all starts with heat escaping from your home’s interior, melting snow on the roof. When this melted snow reaches the colder edges of your ceiling, it refreezes, creating a barrier that prevents any remaining snowmelt from draining off your roof. Over time, the barrier size increases due to the runoff snow’s multiple freezing cycles. The trapped water can then seep under shingles and into your home, causing significant damage to walls, ceilings, and insulation.

Why are They Dangerous?

Not only do these dams cause damage to your property walls and interior, but the dangling icicles also make them a safety concern. Icicles with enough height can puncture the skin and could even break bones. So, having them along with dams on your roof is quite dangerous.


Preventing these dams from forming is critical to protecting your home from winter damage. Here are some effective strategies:

Ensuring Proper Insulation and Ventilation

Proper attic insulation and ventilation can keep your roof’s temperature consistent and prevent uneven melting and refreezing.

Sealing Air Leaks and Adding Insulation

Air leaks can contribute to heat loss, so sealing them is essential. Extra insulation can keep heat from escaping through your attic and walls.

Cleaning Gutters and Downspouts

Regularly cleaning gutters and downspouts can prevent ice dams from forming. Ensure they are clear of debris before winter sets in. Hiring professional roofers to deal with gutter and roof maintenance is best.

Installing Heat Cables

Heat cables can be a helpful tool in preventing ice dams from forming. These cables run along the edge of your roof, heating the area and preventing ice from forming. However, get heating cables installed by a professional roofer to prevent potential damage.


If you’re dealing with these dams on your roof, removing them safely is essential to prevent further damage to your home. Here are some practical ways to remove ice dams

Use Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride can help melt ice and prevent further damage. Sprinkle the calcium chloride on the ice and wait for it to melt.

Break Up Dams with a Mallet

Using a mallet to break up these dams can be effective, but it requires caution and the proper gear. Wear protective equipment and be careful when walking on your roof.

Using a Roof Rake

A roof rake is a long-handled tool that allows you to remove snow from the roof without climbing onto it. It can be an effective way for dam prevention and also help remove small ones that have already formed.

Long-Term Solutions

While there are effective ways to remove these dams, the best long-term solution is to prevent them from forming in the first place. Here are a few strategies for long-term dam prevention:

Upgrading Insulation and Ventilation

Proper attic insulation and ventilation can help regulate the temperature of your attic, reducing the likelihood of ice forming. Consider upgrading your insulation and ventilation system to prevent dams.

Repairing the Roof

If your roof is deteriorating, it can be more susceptible to these dam formations. Regular inspections and repairs can help prevent dams from forming and improve roof life longevity.

Installing a Water-Resistant Roofing Option

With a water-resistant underlayment, consider installing a roofing material, such as metal roofing, to resist water and ice formation.

Related: Copper Or Aluminum – What Will Suit Your Exterior Upgrade Best?


Ice dams can threaten your home’s structural integrity and should be dealt with promptly and effectively. It’s essential to prioritize safety and consult a professional if you’re unsure about dam prevention or removal. Taking these steps and staying proactive can protect your home from costly damage and allow you to enjoy peace of mind during winter.

10 Ways to Deal with Ice Dams on Your Roof

Protect Your Home Today with Absolute Roofing and Construction, Inc.

If you’re dealing with ice dams on your roof or want to take preventative measures to protect your home, don’t hesitate to contact us at Absolute Roofing and Construction, Inc. in Cleveland, OH. We offer professional ice dam removalventilation installationroof repair, and replacement services. Our team is committed to providing high-quality workmanship and exceptional customer service. Contact us today to get a free estimate.