What Forms An Ice Dam And How Can I Prevent It?

Let’s face it, ice dams can be a down right nightmare and can cause extensive water damage in your home. If this is an issue you are facing it is important to understand how they are caused, the damage they can do, and how to then prevent your home against them.

When snow accumulates on a roof, a cycle of melting and freezing occurs depending on the different climate changes. There are two key factors to cause problems, the outside temperate and inside temperature in the attic. Snow normally melts and flows off the edge of the roof but under certain conditions when air temperature is very low, the water melts and freezes at the edge of the roof where the roof surface is not being warmed by the attic. This refreezing gradually forms a block of ice and results in blocking the path of the melted snow from getting down. This is what is we refer to as an “ice dam”. As the mound of ice builds up and blocks the path of melting snow behind it, it results in sudden backup and leaking through the roof shingle into a home.

Ice dams can be prevented or minimized before they occur with proper insulation and ventilation and removal of snow on the roof. Reducing the temperate in your attic and installing additional insulation on the attic floor will help immensely. Even with proper insulation, there is still heat leakage into the attic. Without proper ventilation the heat will build up regardless of insulation. Lastly, the only thing on the outside of the roof that will prevent ice dams is having a properly installed roof. You always want to hire a roofing professional that will install it right the first time and not cut any corners!

For more information on other exterior maintenance tips or any help for repairs or inspections please feel free to reach out to Jancon Exteriors. To learn more about how our remodeling experts can help, fill out our contact form for a free price estimate, or give us a call us at (508) 520-3935.