What Are Ice Dams And How Do I Prevent Them?

Winter in Northern Colorado presents a captivating mix of snow-covered landscapes and winter sports. However, as temperatures drop and snow accumulates on rooftops, ice dams become a serious concern for homeowners. At Schroeder Roofing, we’ve been a reliable, experienced, and community-focused local partner since 1977. We’re here to help you understand what ice dams are and, more importantly, how to prevent them.

What is an Ice Dam?

An ice dam is a thick ridge of ice that forms along the eaves of your roof, with icicles often serving as a warning sign. These seemingly innocuous ice formations can lead to extensive damage to your home if left unaddressed.

what is an ice dam

The Potential Harms of Ice Dams

As a Northern Colorado homeowner, it’s essential to be aware of the threats posed by ice dams during our intense winter months. Ice dams can wreak havoc on various parts of your home:

Gutter Damage

ice dam

The weight of accumulated ice can pull gutters away from your roof, causing leaks and potential water damage.

Loose Roof Shingles

loose shingles

Ice dams can compromise shingles, leaving your roof vulnerable to leaks.

Soggy Insulation

soggy insulation

Clogged gutters can result in water infiltration, leading to peeling paint, warped floors, and stained ceilings.

How to Prevent Ice Damming

Schroeder Roofing, drawing from years of experience in Northern Colorado, offers homeowners a range of proactive strategies to avoid ice damming:

  • Heating cables: Installing heating cables in a zigzag pattern along your roof’s edge can equalize the temperature and prevent ice buildup.
  • Blowing in cold air: Aim a box fan at the underside of your roof to prevent ice melt and subsequent damming.
  • Installing drip edges: L-shaped metal sheets, called drip edges, redirect water away from your home and into gutters, reducing the chance of ice dam formation.

Learn more about preventing ice damming.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ice Dams

Here are some common questions from our Northern Colorado community members, along with our expert answers:

What are the first signs of an ice dam?
Icicles forming on the edge of your roof, particularly when accompanied by ice blockages in your gutters and downspouts, are early warning signs of an ice dam.

How can I remove an ice dam myself?
While you can use a roof rake to remove snow (taking care not to damage shingles) or place a calcium chloride-filled nylon stocking across the ice dam, we always recommend prioritizing safety. For large or hard-to-reach ice dams, seek professional help.

When should I call professionals to handle an ice dam?
If the ice dam is extensive, causing visible damage, or you’re uncertain about safely accessing your roof, it’s time to call in the experts.

Why Choose Schroeder Roofing?

For over four decades, Schroeder Roofing has been a trusted partner in Northern Colorado, serving our community with pride, skill, and a focus on local expertise. Our in-depth experience ensures your home can withstand the harshest Colorado winters.

If you’re concerned about ice dams or simply want to ensure your home is ready for winter, contact us today for a free inspection/estimate. We’re dedicated to helping you protect your home and ensuring a warm, joyous winter for you and your loved ones.