Ice Damming – What it is and How to Fix It

“Ice damming” is an innocuous sounding term, and it basically means just what it sounds like; it is a dam made of ice. Ice doesn’t sound like it should be a problem. Unfortunately, when it comes to your roof that isn’t the case. Ice damming can cause serious and expensive water damage in a home.

Ice dams are usually located at the lowest portions of the roof and/or in the gutters, though they can also form around chimney or vent flashing. The dams are caused through a process of melting snow runoff that refreezes, forming a blockage, or dam. Additional runoff is blocked from the downspouts by the dam, and it can back up under roof shingles, which are only designed to shed water that is moving downhill. Once the water gets under the sheathing it can leak into the attic where it will find a place to pool. Eventually the water may soak through the ceiling plaster, which is often the first time a homeowner will notice the problem.

There are a number of “fixes” for the problem, ranging from placing heated cables on the roof to removing the gutters to taking an axe to the ice, but all of these “solutions” have major drawbacks.

The best solution for most homes is to keep heat from reaching the attic, which is what causes the melting. This can be accomplished with air sealing and insulation, which makes it a job for a professional to handle.

Above All Roofing & Exteriors has years of experience in dealing with these problems, and a call (204-999-4674) today will team you with a staff of highly qualified pros who will work with you to solve all your roofing and insulation problems.