If you want to prevent ice damming, the first thing people do ice rake their roof and check insulation. These are obviously the primary things to do, but consider some other things that can help as well.
If you have exhaust systems above the roof, move or try to elevate them to prevent the snow from melting. Furthermore, there should be sufficient air space between the roof sheathing and the top of insulation in sloped ceilings – this is suggested as three inches. If snow starts to build, you could also spend a few minutes removing it using a roof rake. If you do this, be careful as you don’t want to damage the roofing materials.
Finally, you could hose the ice with warm water to create channels. Of course, this is a last resort solution as you want to avoid adding more water to the roof than necessary. If you want to avoid further damage, this should only be done in warm temperatures where the water can drain away before freezing over again.
DO NOT – In an attempt to prevent or clear ice, some people make mistakes and this commonly starts with electric heat cables. Not only are they ineffective, they are tricky to install, make the shingles brittle, and use significant amounts of electricity. Additionally, you should steer clear of shovels, ice picks, hammers, or any tools that will damage the roof itself. Also, there is a danger of you slipping whilst using the hand-held items.
Ultimately, ice dams can be incredibly dangerous and destructive but they can be prevented. As long as you follow the tips here today, you can remain free from ice dams for a long time to come.