An ice dam has the potential to cause serious damage to both your roof and the inside of your home. When snow accumulates on a roof, a cycle of melting and refreezing occurs. The ice then forms a line or “dam” at the edge of the roof. As more snow melts, it keeps getting bigger. Once the dam gets large enough, the melted snow that pools up behind it can force its way back under the roof shingle and then leak into your home!
Two key factors interact to cause these types of problems: insulation and ventilation. Make sure your attic is well insulated to help prevent the melting-freezing cycle. Check and seal places where warm air could leak from your house to the attic, including vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches and light fixtures.
Most importantly, remove snow from your roof! Clearing the snow from your roof immediately after a winter storm can help prevent ice dams from forming. Clear your downspouts. An easy way to help snow and ice drain off your roof is to make sure the area around your downspouts is clear.
What are the indicators of an ice dam?
If you notice water damage on ceilings or exterior walls, it can be an indication that an ice dam is formed and ice and water have forced their way into your attic area. Regardless of the circumstances – if water damage occurs from freezing or other sources, call a professional property damage company. They have trained technicians who will mitigate the loss to prevent further damage and the provide restoration services to return the property to a pre-loss condition.
Source: Will Southcombe, Director of Technical Services, PuroClean