Here’s the checklist, if you can’t mark off every one of these items, you need to give us a call:

  • Called for a professional roofing inspection to evaluate your attic ventilation
  • Completed your gutter cleaning and inspection
  • Verified your insulation is sufficient and in good shape
  • Vented your exhaust fans to the outside

Some of these should be logical as to why they make sense. Other you may wonder about. We’ll explain why they’re each important to prevent ice dams this winter.

Roofing Inspection

A roofing inspection by a professional roofer will evaluate all elements of your roofing system. Not only will they find any roof leaks, but they’ll also make sure your roofing system is healthy. Attic ventilation is part of that check. Insufficient ventilation or clogged ventilation can lead to trapped air from your home. This keeps your attic warmer than the outside and leads to snow melting and then when the temperatures plunge overnight, the snow refreezes. You want your attic temperature to be the same as the outside air. Vents allow this to happen naturally. Insulation keeps the cold air from your home and can help prevent ice dams.

Clean Your Gutters

When you don’t clean your gutters, the water can’t flow down them, either from snow melt or rain before or after a freeze. When the water in the gutters freezes, it has no where to go other than over the edge of the gutters creating the lovely, but dangerous icicles  which are exactly how an ice dam starts. As the snow on your roof begins to melt or melts from insufficient ventilation or insulation, the water continues to go over the edge of the gutters and the ice dam grows.


Insulation recommendations have changed over the past few decades. If your home was built before about 1985, you likely don’t have sufficient insulation for today’s recommendations. If you’ve had a roof leak or an exhaust vent fail, your insulation may have become wet. Wet insulation no longer does its job and leads to a warm attic which leads to ice dams.

Exhaust Fans

Sometimes exhaust fan vents get tiny tears in them. Other times the coupling comes uncoupled. If this happens in your home, you may find that your insulation suffers or your attic gets hotter than it should in winter. Checking that they’re securely attached and sealed can save you from several issues including ice dams.

You can prevent ice dams with a little effort and the help of your professional roofer. If you don’t have a roofing company you know and trust, call Frank-Dale Roofing and Exteriors. We can also inspect your chimney so you can enjoy the fireplace all winter long. Call us today at 414-425-5796 for your no obligation roofing inspection.