Education Roofing Insulation

The Dangers of Ice Dams to Your Roof

During the winter months, and particularly after snow storms, ice dams can start to form. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of your roof and prevents melting snow from draining off. Ice dams can be dangerous to your home. They can:

  • Tear off your gutters
  • Loosen shingles on you roof
  • Cause water to back up under your shingles and drain into your home

Water that can not drain off properly works its wayunder your roof covering and flows into the attic. From there it can seep through insulation, ceilings, walls and other areas causing peeling paint, stained and sagging ceilings, warped floors and even mold and mildew.

Ice Dam Diagram

What Causes Ice Dams?

Ice dams form when indoor heating rises through your ceiling into the attic and warms the roof surface. Snow on the heated part of the roof melts and flows down until it meets the part of the roof that is below freezing (>32 degrees). At that point, the water freezes into an ice dam.

How to Prevent Ice Dams from Causing Damage

To prevent ice dams from endangering your home, you’ll need to keep the temperature in your roof and eaves consistent. You can do this by:

  • Adding insulation to your attic floor
  • Ventilate eaves and ridge
  • Exhaust to the outside through your roof and or walls, never through a soffit
  • Seal and insulate ducts
  • Cover your attic hatch
  • Add or repair flashing around chimneys

Completing the items listed above will help you to enjoy an ice dam-free winter while saving on energy costs. Not sure if your home has the right amount of insulation? Use a calculator or hire a licensed contractor to service your roof.

 

left right
Recent Articles
Award Winning Bathroom Remodel: A Tale of Two Bathrooms
This Towson family loved a lot about their home, but that love stopped short when it came to their two non-functional back-to-back bathrooms. Both...
Remodeling
Read More
Top Investments in Your Home that Recoup Value
Trying to decide what project to tackle first at your home? You aren’t alone. Some people choose to renovate based on wants and others on need but...
Home Living
Read More
The Different Layers of a Roof (And Why They're Important)
Many homeowners look at a roof and just see the shingles. That makes sense, right? That’s all you can really see from the street. However, a roofing...
Roofing
Read More
The Four Most Common Places a Roof Will Leak
You’ve probably heard it before. That slow, torturous sound of water trickling down from your ceiling. There’s something about a slow drip of water...
Education
Read More
Speak Like a Roofing Pro: Roofing Terminology Basics
Understanding the different terms that describe your roof can be a difficult challenge for many homeowners. Since the average roof in the...
Roofing
Read More
Brothers Services Named NARI 2019 Regional Contractor of the Year Winner
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) named BrothersServices the 2019 Regional Contractor of the Year (CotY) winner in the...
Company News
Read More
Marriott Family: Building the Dream Deck
When the Marriott family moved into their new home in Reisterstown, they had one home improvement project in mind—replacing their deck. At the time...
Case Studies
Read More
Give Your Kitchen Remodel the Lighting It Deserves
Once your new kitchen remodel is all said and done, you’ve made dozens of decisions covering everything from aesthetics to workflow. But if there’s...
Home Repair
Read More
The Practical Side of a Kitchen Remodel—It’s More Valuable than You Think
There’s nothing wrong with getting caught up in kitchen remodel inspiration. Spotting a dream design is often the first step a homeowner takes on the...
Remodeling
Read More