How Ice Dams Cause Damage After Big Winter Storms

The house is surrounded by an ice dam. This could cause some property damage.

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Content Summary

  • In winter months, the biggest problem homeowners face is ice dams.
  • These ice dams refer to the accumulation of mounds of ice on the home’s rooftop that can cause structural and water damage.
  • Stop water seepage to the roof by identifying the site of seepage.
  • If your roof already has ice dam build-up, it’s best to contact a roofer or home Service Hookup if you want the job done correctly.

What are Ice Dams?

Protecting your home from weather damage throughout the year is daunting, especially during winter. In winter months, the biggest problem homeowners face is ice dams. These ice dams refer to the accumulation of mounds of ice on the home’s rooftop that can cause structural and water damage. The damage occurs when the ice melts, creating a pool of water to get accumulated on the roof. 

This stagnant water will eventually start seeping into the roof and cause water damage. These ice dams can even tear off the roof gutters and weaken the shingles. Understanding how these issues can affect the structural integrity of your home and implementing on-time interventions can save you the money and hassle you would’ve put in to repair a damaged roof. 

Understanding Ice Dams

These are thick ice ridges built along the roof edges, resulting in water pooling on the roof and potentially blocking the drains, preventing the melting snow from getting drained properly. Ice dams form after heavy snowfall and remain there until adequate interventions are not implemented. 

How Do Ice Dams Cause Damage?

Extremely cold weather and fluctuating temperatures are the main reasons behind the formation of ice dams. During freezing temperatures, the ice meltdown accumulates in the gutters, and the roof drains freeze, turning the gutter contents into solid ice. While solid ice is present in the pipes, there’s no way left for the melting water to pass through the roof gutter. Besides choking the gutters and affecting the shingles, the stagnant water can seep into the roofing system. The seeped water can make its way to affect the home’s insulation, stain the roof, warp the flooring, trigger mold growth, and lead to the peeling of the paint. 

Fixing Ice Damming on the Roof

Suppose you have already identified the water damage. In that case, it’s best to call in for an assessment and conduct on-time repairs by a certified professional to prevent the ice dams from forming in the future. However, if you are having issues with finding a reliable roofer for the job, contact Home Service Hookups for the best recommendations of roofers in your area, as we specialize in facilitating homeowners by recommending top-quality services so they don’t have to search elsewhere. Just contact us, and we’ll ensure you find the top professionals for the job. Meanwhile, here are some temporary solutions you can practice until professional roofers arrive. 

  • Use an extended rake to chip away ice and loosen it so the ice dam’s structure can break. Always stay at a safe distance from the ice dams and avoid using the rake while standing directly below the ice dam because there’s a possibility the ice dam might break, and the solid ice can fall, resulting in physical damage, 
  • Use pantyhose and fill them up with ice melt, laying it vertically on the gutter and across the ice dam to create a water discharge channel. 
  • Stop water seepage to the roof by identifying the site of seepage. Mostly, the seepage can be located in the home’s attic. Take a box fan and point it towards the area where the seepage is evident. This will limit the leaking temporarily. 

Preventative Measures

It’s imperative to use preventative measures if you don’t want ice dams to form and damage the roof. 

  • Keep the attic’s insulation well-maintained to prevent seepage.
  • Adding steel flashing at the chimney’s base. 
  • Keeping the ridges ventilated using ridge and soffit vents. 
  • Installing water and ice shields on the gutter to prevent ice dam formation. 

Please remember the preventative measures we shared are quick fixes and not permanent solutions. If your roof already has ice dam build-up, it’s best to contact a roofer or home Service Hookup if you want the job done correctly. 

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