What is the Best Insulation to Prevent Ice Dams?

As winter is in full swing here in Chicagoland, many homeowners are dealing with ice in their gutters, commonly referred to as ice dams. In the best case, ice dams are frustrating to remove, but in many, worst case scenarios they can cause severe damage to a home. 

Ice dams are common in Chicagoland homes and if you’ve noticed icicles on your roof, give the team at ARC Insulation a call. We’re building science experts and can find effective insulation solutions for ice dams, here’s how.

What Are Ice Dams?

An ice dam is a build up of ice that forms on the edge of sloped roofs and prevents melting snow from properly draining. They occur when heat escapes from an attic, unevenly melting the snow that has accumulated on the roof. When the snow melt reaches the unheated eaves, it will refreeze and create a blockage. With nowhere left to go, any remaining water backs up behind the dam and can leak into your home, which can cause several serious issues, such as:

  • Roof damage
  • Wet insulation
  • Mold growth
  • Stained & sagged ceilings indoors
  • Wood rot and other building material damage
  • Peeling paint

How to Spot Ice Dams in Your Home

Here are some signs to look out for to determine if your home is vulnerable to ice dams in the winter. 

  • Icicles on your roof
  • Roof leaks
  • Water stains
  • Mold growth
  • Snow melting high on your roof, but not low

Preventing Ice Dams with Insulation

When you’re choosing insulation to avoid ice dams in your home, it’s important to stop both the heat and air flow that could be contributing to the issue. This is why it’s important to both air seal and insulate your attic for the most effective solution. Here’s what we recommend at ARC Insulation: 

  1. Inspect the attic, looking for signs of water damage and air leakage during an energy assessment.
  2. Remove old insulation if it’s damaged.
  3. Air seal & insulate. We advise using spray foam insulation for attics for ice dam protection because it has a high R-value and air sealing qualities. You can also use other types of insulation in combination with air sealing, like cellulose. 

Prevent Ice Dams in Your Home with ARC Insulation

We’ve been helping families throughout Naperville and the surrounding Chicagoland area for over 30 years, insulating over 30,000 homes. When it comes to comparing your insulation choices to stop ice dams, our team has the knowledge and experience necessary to find a long-lasting solution and keep your home protected. Our team holds numerous building science certifications and we can even help you find incentives that can help make our attic insulation services more affordable. 


Get started with a free quote today. Call 815-293-1250 or contact us online.