What Causes Ice Dams?

Ice dams occur when water builds up behind a blockage of ice. More specifically:

  • Heat rises into attics that aren’t properly insulated, causing snow on the roof to melt
  • As water runs toward the colder section of the lower roof it refreezes, forming a dam
  • Water pools above the dam, backing up underneath the shingles and sheathing
  • Water seeps into the attic and through the upper ceiling

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), water damage and freezing accounted for almost 22% of all homeowner insurance claims in the U.S. last year with an average claim of $5,875 CAD.

Preventive Measures

Stay Ahead of the Flow

With a few preseason precautions, the risk for ice dams can be minimized. Damage from ice dams is covered under most standard homeowner insurance policies. However, it’s a good idea to meet with your agent to review your coverage before winter hits.

In the fall:

  • Inspect your roof in early fall for loose shingles and flashing
  • Make sure you have adequate insulation and your attic is well ventilated
  • Seal any gaps that could potentially vent warm air from the house to the attic
  • Keep the gutters and eaves clear of debris

Throughout the winter:

  • Place close attention to the icicles. If they’re confined mainly to the gutters, you’re probably ok. But if you find water building up behind them, an ice dam may be forming
  • Check for moisture and water stains in your attic and along the ceiling of the exterior walls. If you notice interior seepage, an ice dam may have formed

Put A Sock in It, Use our SnowPeeler Snow Rake

Even if you’ve taken preventative steps, ice dams can still form. When they do, you’ll want to act quickly before it causes further headaches and damage to your home.

Remove 3-4 feet from the lower edge of the roof

SnowPeeler incorporates a tapered, rectangular cutting blade in aluminum to which a robust snow slide canvas is attached. With a simple motion, the blade slices through the snow that slides off the roof thanks to the snow slide canvas.


No ladder required

2-3 times faster than snow rakes

Less effort to us