Ice dams form on the edge of roofs when ice builds up. Ice and melted snow are prevented from flowing through the gutters and leaving the downspouts when they accumulate in them. This is a sign that an ice dam is forming on the roof if you notice large icicles forming in the corners or gutters of your house. One of the biggest threats to the structural integrity of your roof comes from winter weather.
To protect your roof from seasonal damage, you should follow the tips described in our blog “Is your roof ready for winter? Add these 3 tasks to your fall checklist and pay attention to the condition of your roof during the cold months. Ice dams form over time as a result of snow on the roof melting and freezing again. This process often begins around areas that are known as hot spots. A hot spot occurs when warm air escapes to the ceiling, such as the section surrounding ventilation grilles or a skylight.
To check for hot spots, go outside after it has finished snowing. If you can already see areas where the roof is clear of snow, your roof has a high risk of ice accumulations forming. Take note of where the bare areas are located, as these locations are likely to be hot spots. Tell your contractor if you have noticed leaks or hot spots, as these areas may require immediate repair to reduce the risk of ice dams forming in the future.
Ice reservoirs can allow water to enter your home. If you see evidence of water damage, you should check your roof. Those pretty icicles you see hanging from your ceiling may be a sign that an ice dam has formed. Snow on the roof should melt slowly and naturally as the outside temperature increases.
When the warm air in the attic causes the snow and ice on the roof to melt too quickly, the water flows down the cold eaves to the gutters where it freezes again. Ice causes a blockage that can cause water to rise again and below the roof and damage the attic, ceilings and walls. If you notice an ice dam or damage caused by seasonal weather conditions, contact an accredited roofing contractor as soon as possible. The warning signs of an ice dam are usually subtle at first, like a small icicle or a water stain on the roof.
Ice tanks can damage the roof and cause leaks throughout the house, and leave you with a repair list to keep you busy during the winter. Once you see signs of ice and water in places where there shouldn't be ice, it's crucial to eliminate ice dams. We've removed ice from gutters, ice from roofs and ice dams in all the twin cities, in new and old houses. If you see something as mentioned or shown in the image, it's time to look for a professional ice dam removal company that uses low-pressure steam equipment.
The dam grows as it is fed by the snow melted above, but the water retained by the dam accumulates and remains liquid. While these solutions can help eliminate an ice dam, they won't stop another ice dam from forming when the next snowstorm hits. If you notice ice forming on outer walls, under the siding, behind the ceiling, or in any other strange place, an ice dam may be the culprit. Keep in mind that these solutions are for professionals and you should never try to unlock an ice dam yourself.
When you see icicles forming, as shown here or below, it's time to call the insurance company and explain that ice dams are damaging your home. The small icicles and icicles that form on the underside of the roof or in the gutters are unlikely to have been caused by an ice dam. If there is snow and ice accumulated on the lower part of the roof, but things are clear higher, this may indicate an ice dam. Because ice dams prevent normal roof drainage, they can cause water damage inside the house.