Icicles hanging along your roofline are a dreamy, picturesque sight; however, they can lead to troublesome problems like ice dams.

Ice dams are thick ridges of cold, solid ice that build up along the eaves of your house. They can harm your home in various ways, including tearing off your gutter system, loosen shingles, and cause water to back up and leak in through your roof. The effects of these dams, as you can imagine, are not pretty: warped walls and floors, peeling paint, and sagging ceilings — not to mention the unseen water damage and mold this can cause inside of your walls.

As you can see, dams are a major problem you want to avoid. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent them. Continue reading to learn how.

Preventing Ice Dams

Chipping and chiseling away at the dams on your eaves is bad for your roof (and dangerous!), and sprinkling salt on them will actually do more harm to the shrubbery and vegetation below than to the dams. Outside of wishing away the freezing temperatures, you can do one other thing to prevent dams: heated cables.

Heated cables, also called ice melting systems, are attached to your roof’s edge using clips in a zig-zag pattern that helps prevent these dams from forming and harming your roofing and gutters and creating serious hazards on the ground below. Heated cables allow you to equalize the temperature of your roof by heating it from the outside versus other, less effective methods. It is ideal to have an ice melting system installed before the freezing temps and snow hit.

What to Do if They Have Already Formed

If an ice dam has already formed, there are a few things you can do yourself to try to remediate the issue:

Blow Cold Air — Head to your attic and aim a box fan at the underside of the roof where the leaky is occurring. This concentrated air will freeze the water in minutes and will stop the water in its tracks.

Ventilate Your Ridge and Eaves — Air can best circulate when your ridge and soffits are vented and help reduce these dams.

Rake It Off — Grab your favorite long-handled roof rake and remain safely on the ground with a good stance. Carefully begin removing snow and enjoy the falling snow around you. Just make sure to bundle up and use caution!

Add More Insulation — Keep the heat where it belongs by adding more insulation to the attic floor. Find out how much your attic needs by checking with your local building department.

Contact M & M Gutters 

Protect your Utah home and gutter system by preventing ice dams with an ice melting system from M & M Gutters. Our self-regulating heat tape prevents icicles and ice dams from forming altogether. By automatically adjusting the power output to accommodate any changes in outside air temperature, our system delivers the exact amount of heat necessary to prevent ice and ice damage. Contact our experts today! We serve Salt Lake County, Utah.