All About Ice Dams and Why They’re Damaging To Your Roof

Northwest Indiana is often home to heavy snows in winter. When inches of snow accumulate on your roof, ice dams can form. What are ice dams, what causes them, and how can you prevent them? Read on to learn more about this common — and damaging — roof issue.

What Is An Ice Dam?

Ice dams are large blocks of ice that form along the lower portion of your roof, near your gutters. Ice damming creates reservoirs or pools of melting water that can seep beneath your shingles and cause water damage.

Ice on roof

What Causes Ice Damming?

Large amounts of snow on the roof can cause ice dams. Warm air from within the house rises and causes snow to melt. As the melting snow moves down the roof toward the gutters, ice forms and grows up. A reservoir is formed behind that ice, which means there’s more space for additional water to back up, working its way underneath your shingles.

Shingles are designed to help water run down off the roof ON TOP of the shingles; ice dams cause water to build up underneath shingles, which they then cannot protect.

What Damage Can Ice Dams Cause?

The melting snow that pools behind the ice dam can move beneath your shingles, causing water damage to your roof and potentially allowing water to seep into your home. Damaged shingles need to be replaced, and additional roof repairs may be needed. Expert roofers, like those at Kraz Construction, can inspect your ice dams and recommend the best next steps to protect your roof.

How Can I Prevent Ice Dams?

Temporary solutions many homeowners may try — like using a hammer to break chunks of ice –can cause further damage to your roof. Do not use tools or try to climb on your roof. You can fill a sock with rock salt and toss that up onto the ice dam to create a melting space, but long-term solutions start with prevention.

Proper insulation in the house is essential to preventing ice dams.

Stopping excess heat loss from the attic through the roof can help prevent ice dams, and this means your attic must be fully insulated. Spray foam insulation on the attic ceiling provides air sealing AND insulation, preventing heat loss. Kraz Construction offers professional attic insulation services to keep your home warm, help save you money on energy, and prevent ice dams from damaging your roof.

Call us at (219) 922-5050 or REQUEST A FREE ESTIMATE today!

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