What is an Ice dam?
Ice dams are large ridges of ice that form at the edge of a roof or within the gutters that prevent melting snow from draining properly. Some ice dams even overhang the roof and form into large icicles. These barriers allow water to dam up and leak into the house causing extensive damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and almost anything it touches.
How do ice dams form?
Snow falls and collects on the roof
Heat escapes the home through the ceiling, enters the attic and the snow melts due to the rooftop heat transfer.
The melted snow flows down the roof's surface until it reaches the cold eaves and overhang where there’s no heat from the house.
As it reaches the cold eaves, it refreezes, creating a solid wall of ice.
Additional snowmelt begins to pool behind the ice dam and with nowhere to flow it can get under shingles and leak into the house.
How are ice dams prevented?
The best prevention against ice dams on your home is a trusted roofing system with proper venting in your attic. A roofing system is an integrated system of many components that help a roof perform better against the elements. There are layers to a roofing system including the roof shingles, underlayment, ice and water barriers, ventilation, and insulation. All these components work together to create a waterproof barrier on the roof and to help keep moisture out. Proper venting in your attic can not only introduce cold air to your attic but it can be an escape route for warm air so it doesn’t heat your roof and melt the snow. It’s ideal to have the attic temperature be the same as the exterior temperature!
Ice dams are a seasonal risk! Use a trusted roofing system with proper insulation and ice and water barriers for the best defense against preventing water leaks caused by ice dams. If your roof is susceptible to ice dams contact us today for a free inspection!