spit shine gutter cleaning, Shoveling roof, snow removal, ice removal, before image

Ice Damming on Alaskan Roofs and What You Can Do About It

December 9, 2021
Ice damming on roofs occurs when heat loss from the roof meets the cold snow, melts it and then refreezes as it reaches the parts of the roof below freezing.

As the melting and refreezing continues, the ice dam grows in size, its perimeter creeping up the roof where the freshly melted snow finds crevices and openings in your shingles to seep in. Once it freezes and expands, damage occurs and water can easily enter your attic.

This quickly leads to:

  1. Mold
  2. Rotting wood
  3. Leaks
  4. Electrical issues – increased fire risk
  5. Siding and framing damage/rotting

The damage is quiet and slow, but it will cost you in expensive repairs down the line and dramatically decrease the value of your home.

The issues to be addressed as the underlying cause of the ice dams are: heat loss from your attic and/or damage to your roof itself if you had an ice dam issue last winter.


The number one way to prevent ice dams is by regular roof shoveling. Regular shoveling prevents melted snow from being trapped between the frozen snow and the warmer roof. When it gets cold again, that water freezes and expands.

Ice Dam Removal

Heat tape/cable seems like a viable option – but often it’s just a band-aid, masking the real issue. Labor and cost involved in the installation won’t necessarily prevent issues or save you money in the long run.

Another way to prevent ice dams is to make sure your attic is properly ventilated and air flows through the attic regularly.

Older homes are generally more at risk for ice dam formation and structural damage due to heavy snow on the roof. Older home are also more likely to have a higher potential for thermal issues and rot.

Take into consideration the age of your home when considering ice dam prevention measures like roof snow removal.


Icicles are an indication there are ice dams forming, but not a sure fire thing. If there is ice build up behind the icicles and gutters, it’s likely there is an ice dam forming.

Flatter roofs tend to hold more snow moisture as snowmelt is unable to fall from the roof so ice dams form more quickly.

Older homes are generally more at risk for ice dam formation as they are more likely to have a higher potential for thermal issues and rot.


The best offense is a good defense – prevention is everything. If you have a flatter roof or sections of your roof that are flatter, know that it will be beneficial for you to keep up with the roof shoveling in that area. If the ice dams have formed already, removing them with low pressure and steam is the most effective, non-damaging way to do it.



spit shine gutter cleaning, Snow Shoveling, winter Roof Maintenance,

Roof shoveling and Snow Removal

We love snow removal here at Spit Shine. Seriously though, all the guys cannot wait for snow season. As I sit writing this, I am right next to the window marveling at how much snow and ice dams we have already. If this year continues this way, then we are in for an...
spit shine gutter cleaning, Shoveling roof, snow removal, loyalty rewards

Shine rewards!

As I write this, we are in the midst of a pandemic known as Covid-19. I write not because whoever is reading this isn’t aware but so every time, I look back at this I will remember. We have designed a great program called Shine rewards. This is essentially a referral...
spit shine gutter cleaning, Shoveling roof, snow removal, employee cleaning roof

Soft Washing

Soft washing is the only recommended method for cleaning moss off a roof. Soft washing utilizes very low pressure and relies on chemical and treatment over pressure to clean the roof. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer’s Association recommends using a 1:1 ratio of...
spit shine gutter cleaning, Shoveling roof, snow removal, save your gutters, pricing options, gutter cleaning

Save your gutters!

One of the most effective options we offer is a service contract. What this entails is any service we offer on an annual basis for 1-3 times per year. Whether it’s gutter cleaning, moss treatment, window washing or any of our other services we offer, is up to you....
spit shine gutter cleaning, Shoveling roof, snow removal, anchorage earthquake, international rd,

Prepare for an earthquake

Before an Earthquake strikes: Prepare a disaster supply kit - at home, at work, and for your car; Secure bookcases, file cabinets, pictures, mirrors, etc. to walls. Include hot water heaters and other appliances, which could move and rupture gas or electrical lines;...
spit shine gutter cleaning, gutter cleaning, home exterior cleaning, ice removal, gutter grates, how did spit shine start

How did Spit Shine start?

When I first started Spit Shine, I was working for Alaska Custom Gutters. Jonathan and Shanna Springer were such great mentors in my life and actually were the ones that had the idea of starting Spit Shine in the first place. I honestly cannot remember how I came up...
spit shine gutter cleaning, Shoveling roof, snow removal, tips for maintaining a home

Tips for maintaining a home

Tips on maintaining a home Clean your dryer vents, you don’t want to be at risk for a house fire. This will also keep your drying time efficient. It’s always a good idea to periodically check for mice nests, mice poop, etc. You want to stop a mice problem before it...
spit shine gutter cleaning, work life balance pic

The balance of family and business

Running a business is easier than running a family in my opinion. For a couple reasons: first, Kids are like sponges absorbing everything we do as parents, which means the good and the bad. In business, If I mess up on a job, I can just fix it. Not so with your kids;...
spit shine gutter cleaning, Shoveling roof, snow removal, ice dam, meltwater buildup, water damage

Ice dams

Ice dams form from a combination of temperature fluctuations and having a hot attic/roof. When there is no barrier between the cold and warm air coming up from inside your home, your roof will have a difficult time properly ventilating or insulating the roof deck. We...
spit shine gutter cleaning, Shoveling roof, snow removal, selling your home? exterior house cleaning

Selling your home?

1. Curb Appeal starts online, which means you need some great pictures. Make sure you have proper lighting. Overcast days are best to take pictures on as the sun isn’t providing too much light. Get rid of bikes on the porch, platters stacked on the fridge, etc. 2....