What are Ice Dams?
Ice dams are chunks of ice that form on the margins of your roof in the winter. You may see icicles hanging down from these dams. Without proper prevention or maintenance, these blocks of ice can cause a lot of damage. Call Gotcha Covered Contracting at (877) 631-4605 for help dealing with ice dams or for any other roofing services.
Why are ice dams a problem? During the warm parts of the day, water can melt off your roof and pool behind the ice. This water can:
- Seep into your shingles
- Drip into the soffits or walls
- Wet and stain your ceilings
- Cause your paint to peel
- Damage your gutters
Ideally, you want to stop ice dams before they start.
How are Ice Dams Caused?
Snow on top of your roof tends to melt if your roof is warm. It can also melt as the temperature outside increases. Then, the melted snow travels to the edge of your roof, where it refreezes and forms a dam. Once you have a dam, it blocks other melted snow from leaving the roof.
Not only are ice dams harmful to your roof, but they are also harmful to anyone walking around your house. Ice dams can get worse with heavy snow. Additionally, the icicles that form from these dams can be a safety hazard to you and your loved ones.
Preventing Ice Dams
Ice dams happen when your roof is warm. The best way to avoid them is to keep your attic as cool as possible. If your roof is cold, snow will lay evenly on your roof, and an ice dam will not form.
You can keep your attic cool by:
- Checking your ventilation. Your soffits have small holes to keep air flowing in and out of your attic. If your attic tends to be warm in the winter, you may want to add vents to your soffit and roof. Check with a contractor to see how this can be done.
- Insulating your ceiling. Try insulating the ceiling below the attic. Then, warm air will be unable to creep up to your roof.
- Close any air leaks. It will take some time, but you should close any gaps near your chimney, pipes, or light fixtures. These gaps may cause warm air to leak into your attic.
What if I Already Have an Ice Dam?
You may still get ice dams even if you take these preventive measures. There are several options for dealing with ice dams after that have formed:
- Buy a roof rake and remove snow from the end of your roof immediately after heavy snowfalls.
- Apply calcium chloride to the ice.
- Install heat cables—but make sure you have somewhere for the melted water to go.
- Contact a professional to remove your ice dams with a low-pressure steamer.
When winter is over, you don’t want water damage to cost you a ton of money. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of preventing ice dams yourself, you can call Gotcha Covered Contracting. We provide timely and efficient service to keep your roof in great shape. Call us at (877) 631-4605.