During the freeze-thaw cycles of our Michigan winters, dangerous ice dams can form on the edge of a roof. Most often, the cause is too much attic heat melting the snow, which then freezes over time and forms ice dams.
The effects are water eventually backing up under the shingles, which then leads to damage to ceilings, walls and insulation. This can be difficult and expensive to repair.
To prevent ice dams, the attic needs to have the right mix of ventilation and insulation. Homeowners should inspect their attics for proper conditions. In addition, removing snow with a roof rake or installing electric heat tapes can also aid in the prevention.