Every year, ice dams—a build-up of ice over the eaves of a roof—are a familiar sight in from December through March, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

A little prevention now can help homeowners avoid big problems later.

The cold, hard facts about ice dams

You’d think ice dams would be caused by a too-cold attic, but in fact, it’s just the opposite. Your attic is a buffer zone between your toasty warm house and the freezing temps outside. Snow on the roof over a cold attic stays snowy. But when an attic is too warm, it causes any snow on the roof to melt, which then runs down to the cooler area over the eaves, and refreezes.

Once an ice dam has formed, it will continue to trap melted snow above. Eventually, the ice begins to push up under shingles, where it leaks into the attic or walls.

Prevention tips

Get a free pre-season attic inspection. Call Highmark for an inspection of your attic and roof. We can assess the potential for ice dams and properly insulate attic spaces to minimize risk. To schedule an inspection, call 952-641-6086.

Plan to remove snow. This is not a do-it-yourself suggestion—snowy roofs are slippery and dangerous. Contract with Highmark to shovel snow from your roof to prevent build-up. For details, call 952-641-6086.