Ice Dams 101: Everything you need to know
Ice dams are a common problem during the winter months, and if not dealt with properly, they can cause serious damage to your home. In this blog post, we will answer your questions about ice dams! We’ll cover everything from what they are to how they form to what you can do to prevent them. We’ll also talk about what to do if you already have an ice dam on your roof. So read on for all the information you need to know about ice dams!
How do ice dams form?
The science behind ice dams is simple. They form when heat escapes your home and melts the snow on your roof. This water then runs down to the edge of your roof, where it freezes again. This cycle repeats itself over and over, and as more and more ice builds up, it forms a dam.
Why are ice dams so problematic?
Other than the fact that ice dams are accidental hazards waiting to happen, we have compiled a list of a few problems that come with ice dams, beginning with the most obvious:
Damage to your roof: We don’t even need to explain this. Ice dams can cause significant damage to your roof, from hampering its structural integrity to causing your roof to collapse under all the weight. In addition, the water that leaks through the ice dam can cause serious damage to your ceiling, walls, and insulation.
Increased energy bills: As we mentioned, heat escapes your home through the roof. When you have an ice dam, this process is accelerated as the heat has to melt not only the snow on your roof but also the ice dam itself. This costs you money in higher energy bills.
Mold and mildew: Water that leaks into your home because of an ice dam can lead to mold and mildew growth. Not only is this unsightly, but it can also be dangerous for your health if left unchecked.
Pest infestation: Ice dams are a haven for pests looking for a warm place to nest. Once they’re in your home, they can be very difficult to get rid of.
These are only the most basic problems that accompany ice dams. The constant forming and thawing of ice dams have been known to cause permanent damage to your roof and shave several years off it.
What can you do to prevent ice dams?
There are a few things you can do to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof:
- Make sure that your attic is properly insulated. This will help to keep heat from escaping from your home and melting the snow on your roof.
- Make sure that there is proper ventilation in your attic. This will also help keep heat from escaping and allow any moisture that does escape to evaporate quickly.
- You can install heat cables on your roof.
These cables will help to melt any snow or ice that builds up and prevent an ice dam from forming.
What can you do once ice dams have formed on your roof?
If you already have an ice dam on your roof, there are a few things you can do to remove it. First, you can use a shovel to remove loose snow or ice from the dam. Second, you can use an Ice Dam Steamer to melt the ice. This is a machine that uses hot water to melt the ice. Third, you can use a Roof Rake to pull the snow off your roof and away from the edge. This will help to prevent more water from flowing down and freezing.
Things to remember when working with ice dams:
One of the reasons why everyone is wary of ice dams is due to the probability of accidents. Last year, there were over 14,000 roofing accidents in the US alone, most of which could have been prevented. When working with ice dams, there are a few things you should keep in mind to stay safe:
Wear gloves: Ice is cold and can cause your hands to get very cold quickly. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the cold.
Wear boots: Ice is slippery and can cause you to fall. Wear boots with good traction to help prevent falls.
Use caution: Use caution when working with ice dams. They are large and heavy and can cause serious injury if they fall on you.
Be careful of power lines: Power lines are often located near roofs, and ice dams can fall on them and cause them to break. If you are working near power lines, be very careful and always assume they are live.
Work with someone: Ice dams are large and heavy and can be difficult to work with alone. If possible, work with someone else to help remove them. Removing ice dams is not a DIY job, and even if you succeed, you still need to inspect your roof for any structural damage.
It’s always best to leave it to the professionals. They are experienced in removing ice dams and have the proper equipment and safety gear to do the job right. Just contact a local contractor and get started.