How do Ice Dams Form?

How Do Ice Dams Form?

 (Photo: Ice Dam)

Ice dams are formed when heat from the inside of a home escapes into the attic and warms the roof decking during the winter. This heat, combined with heat from the sun, can melt snow on the roof.  Melting snow then runs down toward the eaves as water. When it reaches the cold eaves and gutters it re-freezes.

This continual thaw and re-freezing process creates ice dams. The result is water backing up under the roof shingles where it can soak through the roof decking or wall sheathing, causing damage to attics, ceilings and walls.

How Do Ice Dams Form?The weight of an ice dam can quickly become enough to rip gutters off a house and even damage the roof structure. Furthermore, water that backs up behind an ice dam can get under the roofing and find its way into walls and ceilings. The potential for costly damages to your home from an ice dam are significant.

There are a few ways to defend against the damage ice dams cause:  attic insulation, attic ventilation system,  water-proofing shingle underlayment and snow melt socks.  Fortunately, most of this work can be done anytime of the year.  So if you see icicles forming around the edge of your roof, now is the time to do something about it. Don’t try and hold out for spring – call us today!

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