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Ice Damming: What It Is and How to Prevent It

ice damming on roof

If you’ve lived in the St. Louis area for long, you know the city is known for wintry weather that can do some major damage. One way the winter weather creates the need for storm damage cleanup in St. Louis is through the development of ice dams. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms on the roof of a home in vulnerable areas (like slopes and eaves). Let’s learn a little more about them and what you can do to prevent them.

An ice dam forms when water from melting snow can’t drain as it should. This often happens when gutters are full or when it’s extremely cold, causing water to freeze rapidly. Water from snowmelt freezes instead of draining, forming ice that then adds to the problem. As more snow melts, more ice forms, and before you know it, you have ice dams blocking the gutters and hanging from the eaves. If this situation is allowed to go for too long, melting snow will begin to get forced back up under the roofing shingles in your St. Louis home. This creates standing or freezing pools on your rooftop, which could eventually damage the roof and cause leaks inside your home. 

Roofing shingles in St. Louis can be especially susceptible to this winter woe. But there are steps you can take to avoid ice dams and the subsequent storm damage cleanup in St. Louis. Check out these simple strategies suggested by the expert team at Shamrock Roofing and Construction.

Regularly Remove Snow

One of the most obvious ways to avoid an ice dam is to keep snow off the roof. Investing in a high-quality roof rake is an excellent idea for any St. Louis homeowner. Shamrock Roofing suggests a rake with an extendable pole and flexible handle for added comfort and safety. If you feel comfortable braving the winter cold, a roof rake is a great investment. If you’re not comfortable with doing this yourself, call in the professionals for help.

Clean the Gutters

One of the best ways to prevent ice damming is to clean out the gutters. If your gutters are full of leaves, twigs, and other debris left over from the fall, water won’t be able to flow through the gutters and drain away from the house. Instead, it’ll get trapped in the clogged gutters and may freeze there. This contributes to ice damming, so make sure you clear away autumn debris before the first snow hits!

Protect Vulnerable Openings

Many older homes in St. Louis have an attic fan or an unsealed hatch. While these features are accommodating in the summer months, heat has a tendency to escape from them during the winter. Shamrock Roofing suggests covering these vulnerable openings with a hatch cap. This will help maintain the internal temperature of your home and prevent ice buildup on your roof.

Don’t Forget to Insulate!

Insulating your attic floor is another quick way to thwart ice dams. Quality insulation traps heat and creates the temperature homeostasis necessary to protect your roof. Our team at Shamrock Roofing can help determine how much insulation is right for your home. 

Call Shamrock Roofing and Construction for All Your Roofing Needs

Here at Shamrock Roofing and Construction, we know how important your home is to you. And we also know how frustrating it can be when something goes wrong with it. We’re here to help. No matter what your roofing needs are, we have the experience and know-how to take care of them. We can help you prevent ice damming. Or we can repair the damage if something goes wrong.

Contact us to schedule a consultation. We offer free residential roofing inspections to St. Louis customers. We’re here for you, whatever the need, so call today!