Have you noticed ice hanging over the edge of your home’s roof? These ice dams can cause some serious damage to your home if they’re not taken care of.
Ice dams are occur when snow melts on your roof and then refreezes. Heat escapes through your attic space and warms your roof from the interior allowing the melting to occur. Contrary to popular belief, ice dams are not caused by gutters, although gutter can certainly add to the problem.
So what exactly is causing the ice dams?
First, like we mentioned before, the heat from the interior of your home leaks through the ceiling and attic, which increases the temperature of your roof from the interior. Once the shingles of your home warm to above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the snow will melt.
Second, this melted snow will make its way toward the edges of your roof and gutters. Eventually it will hit an area of your roof that does not have insulation under it, meaning that it will likely be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and refreeze the water.
Third, this process continues over and over. The ice dam will increase in size allowing water to pool in between the ice dam and your roof.
Fourth, This pool of water that is created is what will threaten your home the most. When water is allowed to sit on your home’s roof it can start leaking through your shingles into the interior of your home and causing rot.
Ice dams are not completely preventable because the melter will sometimes instantly freeze once it hits those colder areas of your roof. However, you can increase the prevention of ice dams by ensuring the water has somewhere to go when it does not instantly freeze. This means making sure your gutters are clear of debris and leaves.