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
Speak Like A Home Improvement Pro: Siding Terminology
From the outside, your home’s siding seems simple. It’s just slabs of vinyl, fiber cement, or wood, right? Well, the panels are a part of the siding,...
Siding
Read More
Pros and Cons of Metal Roofs
It is no surprise that metal roofs have become more and more popular with both homeowners and builders. With superior longevity and a wide array of...
Roofing
Read More
What to Do When You Have an Ice Dam on Your Roof
Ice dams are thick slabs of ice that build up along the eaves of your roof. They form when indoor heat rises through the ceiling, into the attic...
Roofing
Read More
After Your Roof Leaked: What to Look Out For
Your roof leaked, so you contained the problem and called a roofing company to make repairs. Now what? When your roof leaks, it can allow water into...
Roofing
Read More
Spotting Scams: Roofing Storm Chasers
In states where there is extreme weather such as high winds and regular hailstorms, homeowners are wary of storm chasers. But in Maryland, we only...
Roofing
Read More
How to Avoid 8 Common Roof Problems This Winter
Winter snowfall can be exciting and beautiful, but the realities of winter for your roof are far less appealing. Find out the most common roofing...
Roofing
Read More
5 Warranty Questions to Ask Your Replacement Window Installer
While window replacement is not the most expensive home remodeling project, it can be a significant investment. Ensuring that your investment is...
Replacement Windows
Read More
How to Detect and Repair a Window Air Leak
Your home can experience air leaks when outside air enters through small cracks or openings through your windows. During the winter, cold air can...
DIY & Homeowner Tips
Read More
How Much Does A Window Replacement Cost?
According to Home Advisor, the average window replacement can be anywhere from $300 to $1,000 per window. This range makes finding a fair price for...
Replacement Windows
Read More