WHAT IS AN ICE DAM?

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.

WHAT CAUSES ICE DAMS?

Ice dams form when snow on a sloping roof begins to melt and flow down the roof line. When the meltwater reaches the cold air, it freezes. As ice accumulates it forms a dam. As the ice dam expands it blocks the snowmelt from flowing down, forcing it to seep in and under roofing material.

ICICLES

When temperatures are below freezing,  meltwater can drip from the ice dam and freeze causing icicles.  During sunny winter days with extend cold temps at night, icicles can grow very large. These icicles can do damage to your property or worse cause injury by breaking off the roof or while attempting to remove them.

ice dams

Signs of trouble

Pay attention to your roof after a heavy snow.  If you notice large patches of melting snow, your attic is too hot and the heat may lead to ice dams.  Proper attic ventilation will help prevent costly damage.

Not all icicles are due to ice dams, but many are.  If you continue to have icicles forming off areas of your roof, we recommend you inspect your attic for signs of trouble.  Or call us for an attic inspection.

POWERED ROOF VENT PICTURE

VENTILATION IS THE BEST PREVENTION

While it may seem odd, ice dams are prevented by keeping your attic cool in winter. By keeping your attic cool, you minimize the snow melt that leads to damming.

PROPER VENTILATION

Proper ventilation includes intake and exhaust vents. Intake vents include soffit or eave vents that allow fresh air to enter the attic. Exhaust vents placed high on the roof allow warm, moist air to be pushed up and out of the attic. A powered roof vent, or attic fan is an affordable solution that can dramatically improve ventilation and minimize ice dams in winter and prevent heat from building up in your attic in summer.

NOT SURE WHAT YOU NEED?

Not sure what venting you have in your attic? Call us for a ventilation assessment today!


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