Ice Dam Removal in Massachusetts

What are Ice Dams?

What Happens?

  • Forms when heat from house escapes into the attic and warms the roof, which melts the snow.
  • Hot Air Rises, the upper areas of roof become warmer than the eave area.
  • Snow on the upper roof melts and refreezes at the eaves and lower valleys

And Then….

  • As the freeze thaw cycle recurs (night & day) a ridge of Ice develops and traps water on the roof.
  • As the roof/attic area warms it will cause the ice to melt
  • That melted snow & ice will then enter the home at a point within a vertical plane 24” -36” inside the inside wall of the structure


More details…

  • Moderate to Heavy Snow is frequently followed in daytime with temperatures of 15 to 25 degrees.
  • Add a little light rain and you have ignition!!


On the other hand…

As folks in Maine, NH & Vermont know

  • Really cold temperatures will forestall the freeze – thaw.
  • Why – because most homes will have sufficient insulation on floor of attic to keep interior heat from overwhelming the outside temps at top of roof.
  • If the outside temperatures gets to the upper 30-40’s the temperatures will be too high to support eave freezing
  • A Delicate Balance – eh??


What to do??

  • Keep the underside of the deck cold.

Keeping Roof Deck Cold

  • Ridge to Soffit Ventilation
  • Add Roof insulation with Ventilation
    • Atlas Cross Vent – 4 way ventilation-
  • Spray Foam under Roof Deck /Gable Ends & Eliminate attic Vents


Fact Or Fiction?

  • No correlation between Gutters & Ice Dams– However, Ice weighs 45-60lbs Cubic Foot
  • Ice & Water Shield Prevents Ice Backup– Prevents the effect-if installed so that “belt” extends
    to a point even with 24-36” inside wall plane
  • Heat Cables Prevent Ice Dams– Just causes another one above & inside it
  • Panty Hose & Salt– Causes roofing & flashing deterioration-plant damage