The icicles dangling from the eaves of your home may be lovely, but they are dangerous. That’s because ice dams, which are substantial ridges of solid ice that accumulate along the eaves, are caused by the same factors that cause icicles to form—snow-covered roofs and freezing weather.

How Can Ice Dams Be Bad?

Dams can cause water to back up and flood into your home, rip off gutters and loosen shingles. The effects of that include stained and sagging ceilings, warped floors, and flaking paint. Not to mention damp attic insulation, which loses R-value and attracts mould and mildew.

What are the telltale indicators of an ice dam?

Icicles do not always indicate that an ice dam is present on a roof. Small icicles are typically not dangerous. Ice where it shouldn’t be, such as on the edges of your roof, through your soffit, or behind your gutters, is a warning sign to be on the lookout for.

Ice dam damage may be severe if not treated quickly. Insulation in your home is damaged and rendered useless by the water ice dams allow inside. When water freezes, it can harm the house’s structure by lifting the shingles and ripping the gutters off. Ice dams ultimately result in a cycle of moisture, freezing, and mould damage to your property and to your health.

How to prevent ice dams?

  • Have your gutters washed before the cold season.
  • Keep your attic well circulated, so it stays cool, and adequately ventilate the roof and eaves.
  • To lessen the quantity of heat rising from inside the house, insulate the attic floor.
  • Clear snow from your roof using a rake or shovel before it freezes, or contact an expert roofer to do it for you.
  • Cover a poorly insulated attic hatch or even the whole fan opening with a foil-faced cover to create an air barrier between the house and the attic.
  • Install a membrane on the roof that repels water.

Finally, before the cold weather arrives, look for any heat sources that could be problematic, such as uninsulated bathroom vent fans, uninsulated folding attic stairs, heating ducts, furnaces, or water heaters. Before it gets chilly, make sure you fix these problems.

How to remove ice dams?

Following are urgent actions you can take if an ice dam has formed to assist limit future harm:

  • Sprinkle calcium chloride or some other ice-melting substance on the ice.
  • Install a box fan in the attic and point it at the roof’s underside, where water is dripping in. The water will freeze due to the cold air.
  • Use a roof rake to remove the snow off flat or low-sloped roofs.
  • Have the dam removed by a specialist using high-pressure steam or other specialized techniques.

Conclusion

Finally, an ice dam forms along the eaves as ice builds up. Water from the warm roof backs up behind it and enters the home via the shingles.

Contact the Seacoast roofing & outside roofing professionals if you notice any indications of a roof leak or icicles growing along your eaves. Our staff members will help with the necessary repairs and mitigate further damage if you require a property appraisal or are wanting to get your roof fixed.

Reach out to our team by filling out the contact form or call us at 603-405-8884 to discuss your requirements.

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