According to This Old House, a simple way to help prevent ice dams is to keep your roof and eaves the same temperature.
- Add extra insulation to your attic floor to help keep the warm air inside your home. (This will help with heating costs!)
- Remove heat sources from attic spaces (IE: Recessed lighting near roof)
- Insulate attic doors with a cover, or seal an existing batch with weatherstripping
- Check the exhausts. Make sure all ducts from bathrooms, kitchens or living areas exhaust to the outside, not the attic space.
- Check flashing around the chimney. Over time, the flashing may crack and separate from the roof, cause hot air to possibly escape and allowing water to trickle in along the chimney.
- Have a chimney and/or roofing professional inspect your roof and chimney each year for damage that can worsen when water gets in, and then expands with freezing. Just like a crack in your car windshield, this can become insurmountably worse in just one snow/ice storm.
Preventative steps can help avoid an expensive and life intrusive mess during storm season.
Avoid these common issues with preventative care