Ice Dams

Incredibly common in Massachusetts, ice dams are a buildup of ice that forms along the edge of your roof and can prevent water and melting snow from draining away from your roof.  Heat loss from the top portion of the roof causes the snow to melt.

As the snow melts, it travels down the lower portion of your roof,  hitting cooler air, causing it to freeze again, forming a layer of ice. As the ice forms, it can back up along your roof and shingles- expanding and contracting- creating damage and leaks in your roof, walls, insulation and ceiling.

At LaBelle Roofing, we have spent years helping our customers address the ice dams and subsequent roof leaks. Here are some more helpful hints and myths regarding ice dams. Let us know if you have any questions about ice dams and how they are affecting your home and roofing system- we would love to help!

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Please fill out the form on this page to request emergency snow or ice dam removal.

Our office will call you to schedule a visit within 24 hours of receiving your form submission. Payment is due via credit card at the time of service. We ask that you please be home on the day of the service to finalize the scope of the work.

 

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Prevent Ice Dams with these Helpful Hints

Equalize the attic temperature with the outside air temperature as much as possible:

  1. Seal attic entry points
  2. Make sure bath and kitchen vents are properly exhausted through the roof
  3. Add vents to soffits for passive air flow
  4. Insulate the attic floor; the us dept. of energy recommends R38-R60
  5. Closed cell foam insulation systems are expensive but effective in preventing heat transfer and melting

Install active ventilation systems, passive systems are not enough:

  1. Install powerful fans to draw in the cold, outside air — These are roof mounted in the back of your home & require sufficient intake ventilation

Roof protection systems:

  1. We’ve partnered with Summit Ice Melt Systems to bring high quality roof edge ice prevention systems to the Wayland and Harvard areas.  Protect your property and its occupants from dangerous edge ice formations by installing an efficient, reliable proven system. 
  2. Install the best quality heating cables in strategic areas to create channels so trapped water can get out; have a qualified electrician connect the wires to your home’s electrical system and inspect cables annually
  3. Heated gutters/eave systems abound and vary greatly in price and effectiveness
  4. Leak barriers, commonly known as ice & water shield, are installed when a new roof is installed. These underlayments, while not fail-proof, go a long way toward preventing leaks. Ice and water shields come in different grades. When considering new roofing estimates, get the best quality underlayments you can afford.
Learn More About Ice Dams

Myths

Myth #1

Using a roof rake prevents ice dams on your home.

Reality: Using a roof rake can cause an ice dam to form where the rake reach stops, which is just beyond where ice & water shield offers leak protection.

Myth #2

Homes with proper ventilation & insulation will not experience ice dams.

Reality: There are many effective, passive and active systemic steps you can install to minimize ice dams. But ice dams are weather-related and can still occur in the event of extreme weather conditions.

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