Cincinnati ice dams worsen, experts stress prevention

Cincinnati ice dams worsen, experts stress prevention

"Who can I contact about removing icicles and ice dams from the roof and gutters?" — Angie's List member Sylvia Osterday, Cincinnati

Cincinnati's ice dams last year were some of the worst local roofers have seen. "Some caused damage to the interior of homes due to leakage, and others crushed the lower levels of roofs," says Dave Molloy, president of highly rated Molloy Roofing Company in Blue Ash [Ohio].

When a cycle of snow melting and refreezing occurs, conditions are ideal for forming ice dams, which will prevent the normal drainage needed to maintain clean gutters. Eventually, an ice dam will cause water to back up beneath your roof and enter your home. "Ice dams are stuck to the roofing, so we apply ice melter to break it down," Molloy says.

Jim Keffer, general manager of highly rated Bone Dry Roofing in West Chester [Ohio], says the best way to prevent ice dams from forming is to have adequate attic ventilation and insulation.

"Ventilation and insulation minimize heat loss from the house and allow air flow," he says, adding that installing an ice shield offers extra protection. "Ice shields don't prevent the dams from forming, but they're the best defense from water leaking through the ceiling if a dam forms."

Keffer estimates homeowners can expect to pay $2.50 a square foot to have an ice shield installed with a new roof and around $20 a square foot to add it to an existing roof.



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