Ice dams develop at the base of a roof, where it typically causes water to seep in and damage interior of walls and ceilings. Melting snow on a roof runs off and meets the unheated roof edge or eave and where it freezes. This occurrence help to create an ice dam that can allow water to buildup beneath shingles, seep into walls, and damage cause damage to the structure of your roof. You want to prevent the development of ice dams which can be problematic for you. It helps to know what causes ice dams before they happen so that you can stay out of trouble.


Do You Have an Ice Dam Problem?

One of the most obvious signs that you have an ice dam problem is the development of a big chunk of ice on your eave or roof’s edge. Icicles, no matter how beautiful they appear, they indicate that you have a problem with your roof. Other signs may be water stains, moisture in your attic, mold on drywall where the ceiling and wall connects, and condensation on the walls in the back of cabinets.


 Causes of Ice Dams

An ice dam can be caused by a few different factors, including:

  • Thermal Bridging Through Walls: If your home lacks sufficient insulation, especially where the roof and attic walls meet, heat likely transfers through the framing and warms the roof deck. When this happens, the snow is melted and the water runoff makes its way to the roof’s edge where it refreezes.
  • Air Leakage Through Walls: When heat escapes through walls and ceilings, it’s transported to the attic, where it warms up the space and causes the ice on the roof to melt. 
  • Sun and Wind: Snow that isn’t heavy, especially, can be blown by the wind and this tends to occur at the ridge of the roof. This exposes the roofing material to sunlight, which warms up the roof, melting the surrounding snow.


Protection and Prevention From Ice Dams

Preventing ice damming is to keep your attic cold or as close to the outside temperature as possible. You want to prevent the roof from heating up and causing the snow to melt in the first place. Applying a waterproof membrane below your roof at the edge of the roof will cause any water that builds up beneath the shingles to properly drain off the roof and prevent water damage from ice damming. Installing a bottom metal surface to your roof is another practice that allows ice on your roof to slide right off. It’s important to keep safety in mind when using this method. Proper insulation and air sealing can best be used to prevent heat loss and is a much more cost-effective option than completely covering an entire roof with a waterproof membrane.


You want to ensure that your roof is capable of protecting you from ice dams from the get-go and Doing It Right Roofing, Siding, Remodeling has a team of skilled professionals that can do that. We can help keep your roof protected throughout the cold season and beyond. Trust us to keep ice dams at bay. Contact us for a quote today.

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