A roof ice dam can be an annoying problem which anyone with a shingle roof can experience. The problem is caused as a result of ice building up on the ties of your roof. If it snows then the melting snow may start to run off the roof, however if it freezes again it will form an ice dam. This whole process will continue until a large ice dam has been formed.
Why is this a Problem?
The shingles on your roof are a very good way at waterproofing your house from rain, so why should this be a problem? Shingles are only very food at dealing with water with the help of gravity. Any standing water can pose a major problem, this is because there are gaps in between the tiles which can soak up water.
When the water freezes it will create the ice dam, the warm air in your attic will cause a small amount of the ice to melt which means that there is a body of standing water on your roof. This pool of water will ultimately make its way under your shingles. Water will find a way into your house if you give it long enough. The water might also freeze again causing the shingles to be lifted up which allows more water in.
The main problem with ice dams is that they will allow water inside your home, this water will be soaked up and absorbed by the insulation which makes it inefficient. The insulation will need replacing which can be a very costly project.
Another potential cost caused by ice dams is a result of the tiles being lifted up. As the water under the tiles freezes it will pry the tiles up which will create a bigger gap, this gap will allow even more water inside which will make the problem worse. The tiles will need to be seated again, and may also need replacing if they have cracked.
Avoiding These Costs
To avoid the expense of dealing with ice dams you should be on the lookout for damage to walls and ceiling. There are also a number of other things which can alert you to the possibility of ice dams.
- If you have icicles on your house then this is suggesting that the snow is being melted by your home and then freezing again. If the icicles are on a north facing wall then this is even more of an issue.
- If there is a very thick blanket of snow covering the whole slope of your roof then this is a possible problem. Use a roof rake to get rid of the snow without allowing it to cause your roof any harm, never use a roof rake close to electrical wires though.
- If there is any water dripping down from the soffit then this could suggest that there is already an ice dam on your roof. Look out for stains or damage to paint throughout the year.