Depending on the amount of snow you get and the condition of your dwelling, ice dams can form and cause significant damage. Last winter created a bumper crop of ice dams on homes and businesses in the region.
How They Form
Ice dams are a buildup of ice along the edge of a roof or gutters, caused by snow on the roof melting and refreezing. The two most common causes for ice dams are actually found inside the structure. The first cause is “bypass air” that enters the attic. Simply put, warm air from the dwelling finds its way into the attic and warms the underside of the roof, causing snow on the roof to melt. The second is inadequate ventilation inside the attic space, causing temperature variations inside the attic where the upper roof is warmer and the lower roof is colder. Melted snow from the warmed areas runs down the roof and freezes, forming a dam that grows as the melt-and-freeze cycle continues.
Snow, which serves as an insulator, perpetuates the problem. Patrick Huelman, a University of Minnesota Extension professor who coordinates the U’s Cold Climate Housing Program, said, “The greater the snow depth and the fluffier the snow, the worse this problem gets.”
Damage Caused by Ice Dams
Why is this bad? Interior damage happens when water pooling behind the ice dam leaks into the house or building. You may experience this as water stains on a ceiling or water dripping from the ceiling. You may also see stains on a wall or paint bulging behind a buildup of water.
Outside the structure, you may experience slippery ice patches on a sidewalk or driveway, or water running down an exterior wall. That water can ultimately find its way inside the structure along the wall or basement floor and cause interior damage.
Check back this Friday for our article on ice dam prevention and safe removal.
Meanwhile, if you see signs of ice dams, don’t delay action. Save yourself the pain and expense of additional home repair. Call a professional ice dam removal company like Allstar to inspect and remove the ice dams.
The professionals at Allstar Construction are your leading providers of trustworthy and reliable snow and ice dam removal, roof repair, replacement and restoration services. Give us a call at (952) 698-3200 or fill out our online contact form and get a free quote today.