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If you’re thinking about ways to protect your house this winter, you need to know how to treat and prevent ice dams. While posing a serious threat to your roof and gutters, ice dams can cause thousands in damage if left untreated.

Ice dams are very common; unfortunately, many common homes are built in a way that causes them. If you are a homeowner, knowing how to spot and treat ice dams could save you from expensive repair jobs in the future.

REI Roofing is here with all you need to know about ice dams this winter, especially if you’re up north like us in Holbrook, MA. Want to make sure you’re home is safe from ice dams this winter? Read on to learn more, and if you are in our area, reach out to us for all of your roofing needs!

What is an Ice Dam?

Ice dams are formed after heavy snowfall onto a slanted, interior, heated roof. Because the roof is kept warm because of the heating system within the home, the snow and ice that is touching the roof are melted, causing the heavier ice on top to slide down. If left untreated, ice dams can build up to be so heavy that they pull the gutters right off of homes.

If Untreated

As stated above, ice dams, when not adequately planned for or treated, can cause some serious physical and financial damage. Professional Ice dam removal requires a full shoveling of a roof, the application of Ice Melt Socks, and or the reorganization or replacement of your home’s insulation. Between labor and material costs, bills for ice dam removal cause range from $400-2000.


Ice dam prevention comes down to one all-encompassing factor: the temperature of your roof. Keeping it from melting the bottom layer of snow on your roof will keep that ice frozen in place, allowing it to melt naturally through sunlight or removed.

Attic Ventilation

Because hot air rises, the attic is most likely the hottest place in your home. According to, about ⅓ of all heat loss in the average home is lost through the attic. Auditing your attics’ ventilation system can save you from dealing with ice dam removal by solving the problem at the root.

Applying proper insulation and adding roof, attic, and soffit vents may cost you a bit upfront but can save you thousands down the road!

Heated Shingle Pads

If you cannot properly adjust your attic ventilation or are looking for something a little more quick and easy, heated roofing and shingle pads provide an excellent option. Although it sounds counterproductive, given the last tip was based around cooking the surface of your roof down, the strategic placement of heated pads around the edge of your roof can also help defend your home against ice dams. By placing this padding where ice dams are formed, its accumulation and build-up are drastically reduced.

Protect Your Home This Winter

The ideal conditions for ice dam formation describe a fair majority of the homes in the United States; a slanted roof and a heated interior. Once considered, ice dams can be hard to ignore due to their cost in water, structural, and drainage damage while also costing the homeowner a small fortune and a big headache.

When it comes to your roof, REI Roofing has your back. We hope this winter season treats you and your property well. Hopefully, some of these tips will help you get through it a little easier this year!

If you are looking for an experienced roofing company in the Holbrook, MA area, make sure to call REI Roofing today!