In a perfect world, when snow accumulates on the roof, it should melt and then the water carried away by the rain gutters. In the real world, temperatures rise, fall, and disturb the process of removing the water from your roof. The inside temperature of your attic also affects this process. The warmer your attic, the more melt off that occurs on the roof’s surface. When the air temperature drops very low, the water does not melt, but rather freezes and forms an ice dam that blocks the path of the melted snow.
If the dam is high enough, the melted snow that accumulates behind it will leak under the roof shingles and into the home. Ice dams can cause a substantial amount of damage to your home. Removing the snow from the roof is effective in slowing dam growth. There are roof rakes to accomplish this task. In a blizzard however, this is not a practical solution.
The best prevention for ice dam damage is to complete all necessary repairs on your roof before the winter season. A properly installed roof can reduce or eliminate much of the damage the ice dams cause. Since there is no way to prevent an ice dam, your roof had better be sound enough to withstand one! Call a licensed roofing contractor before the winter season hits. A thorough inspection of the roof will uncover any weaknesses or areas that need repair.