What is an Ice Dam?

According to the University of Minnesota an ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind ice dams can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas of your home.

What Causes Ice Dams?

Ice dams form when melting ice and snow refreeze above the eaves of your roof and subsequent melting backs up underneath the shingles. This causes interior damage in your home mentioned above.

Preventing Ice Dams?

Proper ventilation, drainage and insulation are the only ways to prevent ice dams and can be achieved in these following ways (Liberty Mutual):

  • Clean your gutters out to make sure they are clear of leaves and debris
  • Check and seal places in your home where warm air could leak to the attic: ventilation pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches and light fixtures are all common possibilities
  • Inspect, or have your roof and attic inspected for proper ventilation and insulation
  • Look for signs of poor ventilation: rust spots, rusty nails or a mildew smell are all signals that moisture has formed on the inside of your roof
  • If you have soffit vents in your eaves, make sure they are clear and not blocked and insulation surrounding them is secured so that air can flow easily
  • Keep snow from accumulating on the lower 3 to 6 feet of the bottom of your roof

Living in Pennsylvania, ice damage is major concern. It can cause you and your family a financial mess. Make sure you take the proper precautions necessary regarding the possibilities of ice dams. Att Mihalko’s General Contracting, we deal with ice damage all winter long. If you have any concerns contact us before it is too late. We can protect your home from disaster.


by Liberty Mutual

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