Tips to Help Prevent Damage to Your Home from Ice Dams - Hutchinson

Tips to Help Prevent Damage to Your Home from Ice Dams

Beautiful to the eye as snow mounds and ice dams may be, they pose serious dangers to the safety and the security of your home. Here at Hutchinson, we take residential dangers seriously, especially during the coldest months of the year. If you also respect nature, you’ll heed our advice as you prevent against damage to your property and other costly repairs.

A Snowy and Icy Climate

If you live in the Northeast, it’s inevitable that you’ll be dealing with snow and ice at least once a year. With accumulations of snow and ice comes lots of shoveling and scraping, along with what we in the business, and the region call the “ice dam.”

What’s an “Ice Dam?”

An “ice dam”, as we call it, is a frozen slab of water and snow that forms near the edge of roofs, near gutters or soffits, preventing melting snow from draining off. As temperatures rise and drop, this slab thaws and refreezes repeatedly, building up in the most precarious and nefarious ways possible.

Like any other dam, an ice dam stops the flow of water and redirects it along a different route. It is this redirected water that’s infamous for backing up under your house’s shingles—entering the home before you know. Once inside, this water starts soaking into your insulation, damaging the sheetrock in your walls, staining everything it passes in the process. Left untouched for too long, this moisture can lead to molds and mildews, along with some dire health concerns.

Preventing Ice Dams

Having said all that, Hutchinson wouldn’t want you to worry too much. We’ve compiled a few tips from our years out in the field for preventing ice dams from forming:

  • Before the commencement of the winter, clean out your gutters.
  • Counterintuitive though it maybe, ventilate your attic so that warm air doesn’t heat up the roof of your home.
  • Make a concerted effort to insulate your attic floor, preventing heat from rising up through your ceilings.
  • Once snow does fall, rake or shovel as much of it as possible away from your gutters, off of your roof.


Dealing with an Ice Dam

If you’re already facing a fully-formed ice dam, don’t despair. Instead, here’s what you can do to minimize it:

  • Being careful not to damage your shingles, delicately remove snow and ice with a shovel or rake.
  • Gather up some warm water and slowly pour it over your ice dam, melting what you can.
  • Hire a professional, and assist from the ground.


In the long run, with our advice in mind, you’ll be more than prepared to face down your first and last ice dam of the winter season. Should you ever face a snowy challenge that you haven’t time nor energy to handle, Hutchinson is just a phone call away at 855-953-8728.