Ice Dams and Roofs: Useful Information Guide

By Roof Online Staff • Updated October 8, 2022

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This issue is common on roofs with overhanging eaves.
Snow removal would help.
An ice dam on an asphalt shingle roof.
An ice dam on an asphalt shingle roof.

1. General: “Preventing and Removing Ice Dams: A Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners” is a thorough and well-written article available on the website of the Breck Life Group.

2. General: The folks over at the University of Minnesota Extension cover all the bases on their ice dam page, with a nice diagram that illustrates how an ice dam forms and what kind of trouble it can cause.

3. General: You can see another good short article on preventing and dealing with ice dams in Popular Mechanics.

4. Building Codes: “R905.1.2 Ice Barriers” from the 2018 International Residential Code. Available at the UpCodes website.

5. Technical: “Guidelines for Ventilating Attics and Cathedral Ceilings to Avoid Icings at Their Eaves” is a very technical article (lots of math and graphs) available on the website of the US Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center.

6. Technical: “Prevent Ice Dams with Air Sealing and Insulation” – an excellent, excellent article available at the Green Building Advisor website. Be sure to read this before you do anything else about your ice dam issues.

7. Technical: “Preventing Problems from Ice Dams” is a brief technical bulletin available at the website of the Canadian Asphalt Shingle Manufacturers’ Association.