I've heard less about ice dams this year than last. The winter really has been less harsh this year - how easily we forget. How easily we begrudgingly bear the cold weather and harsh wind. But, last year really was much worse.
In any event, it's a good reminder as we move out of the last arctic blast and into temperatures that utter the word "melting" this weekend to talk about ice dams.
Ice dams are created from a heavy snowfall and multiple days of freezing temperatures. Air from inside your home warms the roof causing snow to melt underneath the snow where it freezes along the overhang where it can cause roof damage and water spots on the interior of your home
(1a. Don't be this guy ^ hitting your roof with a hammer)
1. don't get up on your roof (this can be dangerous when ice is involved)
2. seal air leaks (hire someone. Why? see #1)
3. add additional insulation to attic (don't block attic ventilation)
4. add more attic ventilation (I just went on a roofing inspection this week and was amazed at what I learned. Click here to see how much ventilation you should have based on your attic sq footage.
5. next year, clean out your gutters. This is the worst, in my opinion. My husband and I prefer solid ground over heights. Every year, we talk about cleaning those gutters. We have yet to do it... do what I say, not what I do.
These things should help and if in doubt, Google it.