If you’re wondering how to get rid of ice dams on your roof, you’re in the right place.  Now that you know those sheets of ice and sparkling icicles on your roof aren’t a good thing, what’s the next step?  We’ll start by diving into short-term fixes.


Bergen County Roof maintenance prevents ice dams


Here are a few things you can do in the short-term to help prevent ice dams from camping out on your roof in the winter.   Keep the roof valley (the place where two roof slopes meet) clear of falling leaves and twigs throughout the year.  This is how to prevent ice dams in roof valleys.  That way, these spots are less likely to collect snow and ice in the winter.

Regularly clean your gutters.  This helps melting ice flow off your roof more efficiently, lessening the chance you’ll have ice damming.  Use a salt brick, rock salt, or a calcium chloride brick to prevent ice buildup.   Remove snow with a long-handled tool.  If you can remove snow on your roof with a roof rake, that’s ideal until you get a permanent fix.

Keep your attic cold in the winter.  While this seems like an odd thing to do, this can prevent ice from melting too quickly and then refreezing.  You can help your attic stay cold through proper attic ventilation, including using a box fan to keep air circulating as a short-term solution.


Metal Roof

The same tips apply to ice dam prevention for metal roofs with a couple extra considerations. Homeowners with metal roofs should install snow guards on their roof, and you may want to ask your roofer to apply a special coating to your metal roof that can help.

Bergen County Roof maintenance prevents ice dams


But the long-term fix for ice dams, no matter your roofing material, is proper weatherization of your home, including insulation and air sealing.  There are a few things you can do to temporarily fix or remove an ice dam on your roof.

But remember, the list of ice dam prevention products below are temporary fixes designed to help you reduce the chance of ice dams melting away after they’ve formed.  Use electric de-icing cables or a snow-melting system.  These heated cables work to melt snow and ice build-up using electric heat.  Install metal ice belts or ice belt panels on your roof. These can help protect your roof and cause ice to slide off, but ice dams can still form around them.

Use a roof rake (also called a snow rake) to pull fresh snow and debris off your roof to prevent build up.  Hire someone to professionally remove the ice dam by using steaming machines. If you live in a colder region, we bet there are some ice dam removal companies near you who can help in the short term.

De-icer bricks include a safe solution for your roof, lawn, and garden. They work to gradually disperse calcium chloride on your roof to keep ice dams from forming.

Soffit vents can also help your attic ventilate to reduce ice damming on your roof, but they do require an installation. However, if your attic is properly insulated and air sealed, you won’t need to install extra soffit vents. You can fix ice dams permanently by getting your home properly insulated and air sealed, which you may be able to do for NO upfront cost.

Most of these short-term solutions are things you can do before a snowfall to make ice dams less likely and attempt to prevent ice dams in roof valleys, gutters, near soffits, and more. But it’s important to know that they may not work, because they don’t address the real cause of ice dams.

Permanent solutions

Next, let’s talk about permanent solutions and how they work to stop ice dams.  All other ice dam fixes are temporary including a new roof.  If you’ve done any prior research on the problem of ice dams on your roof, you know that your home and attic need to be properly insulated and air sealed.

Getting your home professionally air sealed and properly insulated has a three-part reward:

  • Solving the problem of ice dams
  • Making your home feel more comfortable year round
  • Reducing your energy waste


Insufficient insulation

And it’s true: Insufficient insulation and unsealed air leaks are the core issues that cause destructive ice dams to regularly form on your roof in the winter.  And fixing those issues is the only permanent solution.  All other ice dam remedies are temporary including a new roof.

Here’s why home insulation and professional air sealing solve the ice dam problem for good.  Home insulation works by creating a thermal boundary between the interior of your home and outside.  When a home is under-insulated, or when older insulation starts to wear down, that thermal boundary decreases, causing your home to feel uncomfortable—even drafty or damp.

In the winter, insufficient insulation can allow heat to escape through the walls, ceilings, and attics of your home into the great outdoors.  Basically, you’re spending money to warm your home, but that precious heat is being lost due to insufficient insulation and home air leaks.  And when that heat escapes through your attic and the roof of your house, snow and ice on the roof melts and refreezes, causing ice dams to form.  With the proper home and attic insulation in place, you’ll trap heat inside your house where it belongs—and that will help stop ice dams in their tracks as well as keep everyone inside your home much more comfortable.


Professional air sealing

Professional air sealing is also a must to prevent ice dams permanently. Insulation and air sealing work together to create your home’s thermal boundary, and when the two work together, they allow healthy airflow and proper ventilation throughout your home.  Upgrading your home’s insulation without getting your home professionally air sealed leaves room for heat loss to continue.

How does air sealing work?  Basically, a professional home performance contractor will assess where your home is losing heat through gaps and holes that form around doors, windows, plumbing and lighting fixtures, and even your foundation.

Then, the professionals do the highly technical work of sealing up your home’s air leaks, while still allowing room for proper home ventilation.  When your home is properly insulated and air sealed, you have the right solutions in place to stop ice dams once and for all.  But getting your home professionally sealed and insulated has a lot of other benefits, too.


Permanent ice dam solutions

You’ll feel the effects of proper air sealing and insulation throughout your home pretty quickly.  Here are the three biggest things you’ll notice:

  1. Your home will feel so much better inside.

Everyone knows drafty houses are uncomfortable, but they don’t have to be a normal part of daily living.  You can love your home and make it feel like new again.  You’ll also improve your indoor air quality, too.

  1. Your heating bill will go down.

Upgraded home insulation and professional air sealing increase your home’s energy efficiency and reduce energy waste.  Your HVAC system will no longer need to work twice as hard to maintain comfortable temperatures, and you’ll benefit from lower energy bills throughout the year.

  1. Your home’s marketability and value can go up.

According to the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), 57% of buyers “are willing to pay $5,000 or more on top of the price of the home in order to save $1,000 a year in utilities.”

Not only can energy-efficiency upgrades like insulation and professional air sealing increase home value, but they can also increase the overall marketability of your house in today’s unique market.

And these three effects are just the easy to see and feel benefits.

You’ll also be:

  • Protecting your home’s structure from excess moisture
  • Increasing your roof’s longevity
  • Lessening the overall stress on your HVAC system throughout the year.
  • All while saying goodbye to ice dams once and for all.
  • Say goodbye to damaging ice dams for good
  • Ice dams can cause lasting damage to your house.

But the good news is that home insulation and air sealing provide a permanent ice dam solution and long-term remedy—one that can have a positive effect on your whole home.


Contact us

At Jun’s Pro Services, we have solutions for roofing issues in Bergen County.  To help you decide if our solutions are right for you, we offer free estimates throughout our New Jersey service areas.  To schedule an appointment, contact Jun’s Pro Services by phone or email today!

Our experts serve all central and northern New Jersey including Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Passaic, and Union Counties.  We specialize in custom design.  Address 55 Terrill Road, Plainfield, NJ 07062.  https://junsproservices.com

Contact us at 908-322-1533

Roofing care before winter