5 Tips to Prevent Ice Dams

From window condensation to water-damaged floors to chipping deck paint, winter can be hard on a house.  This is especially true for the roof, which bears the brunt of the snow, ice, and wind. Knowing how to prevent ice dams and protect your roof will help to extend its life, while keeping your home comfortable and safe.

An ice dam is a band of ice that forms along the eaves of a house. Ice dams are formed when snow melts during the day and then refreezes at night. Dams prevent water from flowing freely off the roof, causing additional water and ice to back up behind the dam. This can cause water leaks and damage to the shingles, ceilings, walls, and more.

However, you can prevent ice dams with a few proactive steps.

How to Prevent Ice Dams

icicles can lead to ice dams

photo credit: @blitzboy accessed 12/18/22 via CC0


  1. Clean the Gutters: Every fall, before the snow falls, clean leaves and other accumulated debris out of your gutters. This will allow rain and melted snow to drain off the roof.
  2. Remove Snow from the Roof: Use a roof rake to scrape the snow off the edges of the roof. Avoid going up on a ladder – this could be dangerous in slippery weather.
  3. Keep the Roof Cold: Make sure there is sufficient insulation on the attic floor, and block leaks from the house to the attic. Keeping the roof uniformly cold will prevent the ice to melt and refreeze.
  4. Ventilate the Eaves: Use soffit vents and a ridge vent to circulate cold air under the roof. This will also help to prevent warm spots on the roof.
  5. Watch for Icicles: The formation of icicles is an early sign of ice dams. If you notice icicles, remove them and be on the lookout for an ice dam.


If ice damming has already caused damage to your roof, ceiling, and walls, The Chuba Company can help! Contact us for an estimate on a new roof.

The Chuba Company is proud to be your partner in home renovation and construction. From windows and roofing, to additions and green construction, to bathroom and kitchen remodels, and more, The Chuba Company is ready to help with any home project. We’ve been proudly serving Elk River, Zimmerman, Ramsey, Monticello, Albertville, Rogers, Champlin and surrounding areas for 50 years. Contact us to talk about your remodel ideas or to receive an estimate!


This is an updated blog post that was originally published in 2019.

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