How Do Ice Dams Form?New England can be a wonderful place to live and visit during the winter months. With shiny white snow blanketing the ground it is a beautiful sight to see. But, New England is also notorious for blockbuster snow storms and freezing cold temperatures that make our winters a little less magical. It is during these freezing temperatures and snow storms when a thick ridge of ice may form on the edge of your roof, which can lead to serious problems for you and your home.

How Ice Dams Form

According to the U.S. Government’s Energy Star Program, “Ice dams usually occur after a heavy snowfall and several days of freezing temperatures. Warm air inside your home leaks into the attic and will warm the underside of the roof causing snow and ice on the roof to melt. The melted water will drain along the roof, under the snow, until it reaches the cold overhang. The overhang tends to be at the same temperature as the outdoors and the melted water will refreeze and form an ice dam and icicles.” This accumulated ice prevents water from draining off the roof and backs up behind the ice dam, many times causing the water to leak into the house and cause damage.

Warning Signs

The first warning sign is icicles. Although they may look pretty, icicles hanging from your roof are the first sign that your home may be experiencing ice dam issues. Some of the other warning signs that ice dams are causing damage to your home include water-stained ceilings, mold, dislodged roof shingles, sagging gutters, peeling paint, and damaged plaster.


Control heat loss to the attic with these 3 steps.

  1. Increase ventilation. Make sure your attic has proper ventilation to keep a uniform roof temperature (32 degrees or below). Keeping your attic cold prevents ice melting on your roof.
  2. Add insulation. More insulation on the attic floor keeps the heat where it belongs. This will ensure that the entire roof stays cold to eliminate excess snow melting.
  3. Seal air leaks. Air leaks from below allow hot air to escape and melt the snow on your roof, causing the damage. Seal these off to ensure your attic stays cold.


If you are experiencing ice dam issues with your home, it is important to have a professional clear the ice and snow from your roof to prevent any damages. Trying to remove ice dams yourself can be dangerous if you do not have the proper equipment and roofing experience to do the job right. Not only do you risk injuring yourself, you may damage the roof if you don’t remove the ice dams properly.

All Weather Tite Roofing offers snow and ice dam removal services from experts to help prevent major water damage to your home and other serious issues. We guarantee safe and proper snow and ice dam removal to keep your home water and damage free. Contact us to discuss your issue or request a free estimate.