Prevent Ice Dams and Costly Repairs to Your Home
What is an Ice Dam?
Ice dams are large masses of ice that collect on the lower edge of your roof or in the gutters. They occur when there is a significant amount of snow on the roof. Eventually, water backs up behind the dam and works its way up under the shingles until it begins to leak through the roof into the living space below. Slush and snow can then force shingles up, dislodging nails in the process — holes and small cracks create pathways for flowing water, which can make their way into your attic, insulation, walls and your ceiling. This causes damage to the interior of your home and personal property. Over time, it can cause mould or wood rot.
The Four Main Causes of Ice Damming
- household heat escaping to the attic
- uneven roof temperatures
- roofing underlayment that water can penetrate
Indications that Ice Damming May be Occurring
- snow is melting but there is a line of ice or snow at the eaves that is not draining.
- formation of large icicles from the eaves.
- water is dripping out of the soffit or gutter.
- shingles appear worn or faded on overhangs, or they have rolling humps or dips on eave line.
- Interior walls or ceilings have visible water damage under eaves.
How to Minimize Ice Dam Formations
- keep gutters and downspouts clear of leaves and natural debris.
- identify areas of heat loss in your attic and properly insulate those areas, including wrapping and insulating heating duct work.
- ensure the attic has proper, continuous ventilation under the roof deck.
- use a soft broom to clear fresh snowfall from gutters.
In extreme cases, ice dams could compromise the structural integrity of your home, so prevention is important.