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ServiceMaster Restoration by Bailey


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Ice Dam Prevention

Winter is well underway in Iowa. As a homeowner, you probably know that snow, ice and rain can all cause water damage. However, ice dams are a lesser-known winter hazard that isn’t easy to spot until a lot of damage has occurred. You have a higher chance of experiencing an ice dam if you have a low-pitched roof, an uninsulated attic or you’ve had one in the past. Use the following tips to catch an ice dam early or avoid it altogether.

What Are they?

Ice dams occur when ice forms on your roof in freezing temperatures and melts unevenly. It’s often a result of heat rising from your home to your roof. As the ice in the center of your roof melts, the ice melt travels toward the edge of your roof getting stuck under fully formed ice. When water has nowhere to go, it often seeps into small cracks or openings. This can lead to water damage in your roof and walls.


  • Patch Roof: One of the most effective ways that you can avoid this type of water damage is to ensure that you repair any roof damage before the next freeze. Fill small openings with sealant or call a professional for larger damage.
  • Insulate attic: Making sure your home is thoroughly insulated can also prevent ice dams. Even if you already have insulation, it’s a good idea to check its condition and consider adding more. Focus on your attic or highest level of your home. An evenly insulated interior ceiling means that ice will evenly melt on the exterior of your roof.
  • Clear Roof: Shoveling snow and ice from your roof can be very dangerous especially if your home is more than one level. Only take this on if you’re able to ensure your safety. If not, call a professional to avoid a nasty fall.


Even tiny cracks allow heat to escape your home and cause an ice dam. You can perform a test to find out if you’re at risk. Start by turning off all of the lights in your home. Then go up to your attic and search for points of light that may indicate you’re at risk for ice dams. Wiring, outlets and recessed lights all have openings that allow heat to escape from your home to your roof. If you do notice these gaps, make sure you check your interior ceilings and walls for water damage and your exterior roof for an ice dam throughout the season.

We hope these tips help prevent weather-related damage to your home or commercial property. If you experience fire or water damage, contact us at (844) 338-5447. ServiceMaster Restoration by Bailey is your local fire and water damage restoration expert in Des Moines and Ankeny, Iowa. We’re available any time day or night for emergency restoration services. Our team also provides pack-out and storageconstruction cleanup and hard flooring care. The sooner you call, the more damage we can prevent.


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