How to Prevent Ice Buildup on Your Roof

Winter is coming, and you know exactly what that means. Soon your driveway, your car, and your rooftop will be covered in snow and ice.

Preventing ice buildup on your roof (also known as an ice dam) is a key component of your winter home care regimen. Doing so can prevent long-term damage and prolong the longevity of your home and roof.

Here are a few ways to prevent ice buildup on your roof.

Remove Snow from Your Roof

It is best to clear the snow off your roof with a hand-held roof rake immediately after a snowfall when the snow is still soft and flakey. Alternatively, you can also melt the snow on your rooftop by using Calcium Chloride (also known as “snow melter”). These two snow removal methods can help you avoid potentially sticky situations of climbing on your roof to shovel it off yourself. 


Installing thicker insulation on the underside of your roof can help prevent the buildup of ice dams. You can consult with a roofing professional like Style Roofing to help you weatherize and seal your roof from any air leaks. Our professionals will inspect your roof to determine whether your roofing insulation is secure enough to prevent the build-up of ice dams and advise you on the proper ventilation system you need between the insulation and the roof sheathing for your home.

Without the proper insulation, you will experience cooler temperatures, higher energy bills, and more than a few unhappy family members. Your insulation should be applied by a professional and inspected twice per year when the hot and cold seasons strike. If your home has the proper insulation already installed, you can promote additional insulation support by sealing your windows with a plastic covering or checking on the rubber linings of your doors. When you want to keep the cold at bay, these are some of the best things you can do to stay comfortable this winter.

Roof Maintenance

Before the winter and its snow arrive, you need to inspect your roof thoroughly for any leaks.  Look out for spots that may feel wet or cold to touch and for holes in the waterproofing and insulation. Having your roof professionally inspected and serviced before winter arrives can help you repair any holes before they are filled with snow. This preventative step is very important as it can potentially save you from thousands of dollars’ worth of damage caused by ice dams to your roof and your home.

Install De-Icing Cables

Consider installing de-icing cables on your roof to prevent ice dams from forming over the eves of your roof. You can purchase de-icing cables from any big box home improvement store such as Home Depot or Lowes. They range in price from $30 – $250 and are designed to go over the top of your shingles via clips over the eaves of your roof. Make sure to keep an eye out for them when raking fresh snow off your roof so you don’t dislodge them. Luckily, they are easily visible.

Maintain Your Roof Year-Round

While it’s helpful to know how to prevent ice buildup in the winter, proper roof maintenance is equally about what you do during the rest of the year. It all starts with a professional roof inspection to make sure your roof is structurally sound and healthy, and free of any holes or potential problems.

Get Your Free Roof Replacement Estimate

When it comes to roofing in Northern Virginia – Style Roofing is the top choice. Get your free roofing estimate today on residential or commercial attic insulation services, ventilation services, or a professional roof inspection.