Dealing With Ice Dams By WattsControl, Inc.


This winter has been a record breaker in terms of snow amounts and roof ice dams.

A roof ice dam forms when the roof over an attic gets warm enough to melt the underside of the layer of snow on the roof and the water then drips down the roof towards the gutter.  The water runs into your gutter and freezes if the temperature is below 32 degrees. This creates a ridge of ice in your gutter that will back up onto the roof.

Each time the outside temperature goes above 32 degrees, the snow on your roof starts to melt again. The water continues to back up behind the ice dam because its path off the house is blocked.  Some of the water is able to drip off the roof and this results in thick, long icicles that attach themselves to the gutter.  The area where the edge of the roof and the gutters meet are blocked by the ice dam and the water is prevented from draining off the roof.  It then leaks into your house.  This can cause damage to your walls, ceilings, insulation, floors, electrical wiring and other areas.

One way to remedy this problem is to use a snow rake and take off as much snow as you can from the gutters upward along the roof.  You can do this yourself or hire a company that specializes in snow and ice dam removal.

Another solution is to have an electrician install de-icing roofing cables above the gutter on the roof.  The cables generate heat to the roof and will prevent ice from forming in the gutters.  The cables are controlled by an inside on/off switch. These need to be installed before the snow starts falling.  However, these don’t always work due to the amount of ice build-up.

There are also companies that specialize in using steam to cut through the ice. The ice is cut into chunks and thrown to the ground.

Another option is a no maintenance roof ice melt system that eliminates ice dam and icicle problems by utilizing a self regulated heating cable system.

We can help you find the best solution for your house.

Call WattsControl, Inc. at 508-309-6631 for more information or to schedule an appointment.