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What Every Homeowner Should Know About Ice Dams

Ice dams are a severe problem for homeowners. They can cause leaks, mold growth, and structural damage to your home. If you live in an area where ice dams are common, it is essential to know how they form to prevent them from happening. 

What are Ice Dams?

An ice dam is an obstruction of snow and ice that forms at the edge of a roof. Temperatures on the underside of the roof are often below freezing, while temperatures on the top can be much higher.

This temperature difference causes snow to melt and create large amounts of water, which then gets trapped against the shingles near the edge of your roof. Eave troughs are often responsible for funneling the melted water back towards the edge of your roof.

Why Do Ice Dams Form?

Several factors can contribute to ice dams, including climate conditions, attic insulation levels and ventilation, and faulty home heating systems. Ice dams form when there is a temperature difference between the top and bottom of your roof. Warm air and moisture rise into the attic and create a layer of snow on the roof surface.

This warm moisture melts more snow and creates layers of ice that can prevent heat from escaping through the roof. Ice dams often form near the edge of your roof because this is where there is likely to be a temperature difference between the top and bottom of the roof.

Homeowners who live in cold climates are at an increased risk for ice dams because there is often snow on the roof throughout the winter months. Snow acts as an insulator to prevent heat loss through your roof during these cold months. Ice dams form when this snow melts, trickles down to the roof’s edge, and then refreezes into large ice dams.

Ice dams often form when homeowners trap moisture inside of their roofs with poor weatherstripping or insulation. Poor ventilation in attics can also contribute to this problem by trapping moist air inside the attic during the winter months. Moisture buildup within your home can lead to mold growth, deterioration of your roof, and other issues.

Prevention is Key

Prevention is vital when it comes to ice dams. Homeowners can take several steps to prevent them from forming at their homes this winter season. These include: clearing away any snow or ice accumulated on your roof, improving your home’s ventilation systems, insulating your attic correctly to prevent heat loss, and checking the gutter systems around your home.

It is essential to check your shingles, gutters, chimney, and roof valleys each winter for ice dams because water that leaks into these areas can cause extensive problems if it isn’t removed before freezing temperatures arrive. Damaged shingles are also at risk of blowing off the roof during windy weather, so it is best to assess them before any heavy snow or winds arrive.

How a Roofing Contractor Can Help

To help you keep your home dry and warm, we have put together a few critical points about ice dams that every homeowner should know. If these tips don’t provide enough relief for your needs, reach out to us at Champion Restoration and Construction; our team of experts can help diagnose any problems caused by ice damming and offer solutions.