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  • Writer's pictureStacey Belknap

Ice & Snow Can Be A Beautiful Sight But...How Can Ice Dams Affect Your Roof?

Updated: Mar 24, 2022

Ice and snow can be a beautiful sight, but when it comes to your home’s roof do you know just what to look for and what damage an Ice Dam can do. Sometimes, even your best efforts to prevent an ice dam may not be enough. Knowing what an ice dam is, how to identify one and how to help remove it is important to protecting your home from potential damage during the snowy, winter months. Meanwhile, if you have any questions or need more answers right away, we at Exteriors Plus are here to help – 330-800-8018.

What is an Ice Dam?

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from
draining off the roof. Without proper snow removal, the ice that develops may grow large enough to prevent water from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, soffit, siding, insulation and other areas.

What causes an Ice Dam?

When a roof has ununiform surface temperatures Ice Dams can form. Heat loss from inside the home, snow covering the roof and the ever-changing temperatures outside conflict with each other and can cause Ice Dams to form. Usually, they occur most often when there is snow on the roof and the outside temperatures rise about 32F and then fall again. When this repeated pattern occurs pockets of water collect behind the ice at the gutter line. It ends up having nowhere to go and finds ways into the home.

What To Do To Control Ice Dams Now and In The Future?

First thing to do if your home tends to get Ice Dams is to remove snow from the roof as soon as possible. Please be cautious, anyone on a roof during the winter or performing work below icicles risks injury to themselves or to the roof and or house.
Next, if you already have water entering your home an emergency solution can be that wherever the water is flowing into the house make a channel through the ice dam allowing the water behind the dam to drain off the roof. The channel will become ineffective within a few days and this most times is only a temporary solution to ice dam damage. Lastly, a long-term solution is to insulate the attic to alleviate warm air from escaping the homes ceilings and going into the attic space. Heat cables are also a fantastic alternative. They lay on the roofing surface near the gutter line and keep ice from forming. They seem to work wonders in our frigid Northeast Ohio climate and just might be the solution you are looking for if you are not yet ready for a roofing replacement.

Should You Call A Professional?

Call us at Exteriors Plus today! We will come out and inspect your roof and gutters. We can let you know the best way to move forward and honestly let you know if you need a roof replacement now or in the next couple of years. During the winter months the cold weather can wreak havoc on your home and you need to call a company you can trust. Our office at Exteriors Plus is ready to help – 330-800-8018.
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