Ice and snow on a roof

How Can Ice Dams Damage Your Roof?

What Are Ice Dams?

Ice dams are ridges of ice that form along the edge of your roof during the winter season, creating a barrier that prevents your roof from shedding water and snow. Ice dams can impede snow from draining off your home’s roof as it melts. If your roof is producing ice dams, that are left unattended, your roof and home’s exterior can sustain significant damage.

As the water gets trapped at the edge of the ice dam, it will seep through the roofing which can cause damage to your walls, insulation, ceilings, and more.

Roof ice dam

Many people don’t realize how ice dams build up at roof eaves. We don’t always see them leak inside so we assume everything is okay. This is a great example of what can be happening without a proper leak barrier installed under your roofing system.

Problems Caused by Ice Dams

As water leaks through your roofing, it causes additional issues:

  • Rotting roof decking, exterior and interior walls, and framing.
  • Mold growth which causes respiratory issues.
  • Damaged attic insulation. When the insulation material is wet it becomes ineffective. This means that it will allow more heat to escape, which in turn leads to more ice dams, creating a vicious cycle.

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 Preventing Ice Dam Formation

  • Install a water-repellent roof membrane.
  • Make sure your attic is adequately sealed.
  • Remove as much snow as possible off your roof.
  • Insulate your attic floor to reduce the amount of heat generated in the attic from rising and heating your roof and melting the snow.
  • Clean your gutters before winter starts as clogged gutters accelerate ice dam formation.

As a top rated contractor in your area, we can ensure our products and service will keep your home protected against roof damage caused by ice dams this winter and more. If you need any roofing repair or replacement services, fill out our contact form or call us at (303) 834-9236.