Winter is still here, and rain and low temperatures can lead to a major hazard known as ice dams. These icy formations can cause serious damage to your gutters, roof, and home. Here are some of our best tips for preventing ice dams and keeping your gutters flowing smoothly all winter and spring.

What Are Ice Dams?

Before reviewing the best ways to prevent ice dams, it’s important to understand exactly what they are. Ice dams are created when snow falls on your roof and accumulates. As temperatures start to warm or the warmth of your home heats the snow, it will run off to the eaves. Sometimes, the melted snow will refreeze here and create ice dams. Because ice dams are large blockages, they can stop other water from draining. This allows water to pool on the roof and seep through, which can damage your roofing and cause leaks or water damage on the inside of your home.

Insulate Your Attic

Heat escaping from your home is one of the biggest reasons why ice dams form, so stopping that heat from escaping in the first place can help prevent ice dams. Add insulation to your attic and look for gaps where additional insulation can be added. Additionally, you should check for any cracks or crevices around your chimney or other vents that could be letting warm air out.

Keep Your Gutters Clean

One of the most important things that you can do to prevent ice dams is cleaning your gutters. Clogged gutters can happen at any time of year, but they are particularly common in fall, as leaves are falling from above and accumulating. If you don’t have your gutters professionally cleaned at the end of the fall, they will still be there in the winter preventing proper drainage. It is never too late to call a professional and have your gutters cleaned, so you should always ask for help if you think that you might be dealing with sticks and leaves in your gutters.

Remove Snow If Needed

While Maryland doesn’t often get snowstorms that drop over six inches of snow, you should stay vigilant during snowstorms that are dropping dense, heavy snow. Snow accumulation on the roof can lead to ice dams, even if your gutters are empty. A snow rake will allow you to safely remove excess snow from your roof throughout the snowstorm to reduce the risk of damming.

Stay Safe with Clean Sweep Maryland

Call Clean Sweep Maryland today at 410-558-1111 for professional chimney sweep, slate roofing, and duct cleaning services designed to keep all your listed properties clean and safe for sellers and buyers. If you are a prospective home buyer or home seller in need of chimney inspection or repairs, we are here to help.