Beautiful But Dangerous Ice Dam

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of your roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The snow on the roof melts from the heat escaping from inside your home or the sun beating down on your roof. When that happens the water from the melting snow backs up behind the dam and leaks into your home. Again, what happens is the water gets pushed up under the roof shingles where it will soak the insulation then the water will start to drip through the ceiling and eventually down through your walls and out your electrical outlets.

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What causes an ice dam?

The warmth from within the dormers as well as the sun shine melts the snow from the dormer roofs and the upper roof. The water runs down the roof until it hits subfreezing air, like around the gutters, and icicles form. The gutters fill with ice and the ice just keeps getting larger and larger. You can tell the start of an ice dam from all the icicles hanging off the gutter on a house.

Oh those icicles, I can remember when I was a kid I use to love the icicles, not only were they beautiful when the sun sparkled off of them mái tôn đẹp, but the best part was you could break them off and use them for swords or spears. Those were the days. Ok, back to the dam, once the icicle forms, the ice continues to build, both horizontally and vertically, The water backs up under the shingles, and then that’s when all heck breaks loose.

Water entering the home from ice dams can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. These mold and mildews can cause respiratory problems. It’s really important that the growth of mold and mildew be prevented. This can be done by immediately drying out portions of the house that are wet or damp. Action needs to be taken to clean the home environment and maintain its air quality.

How do I prevent a ice dam?

The first line of defense is to keep you gutters and down spouts clean and free of debris.

You also need to make sure that your attic or roof is properly insulated. Installation of insulation if not done properly can cause more harm than good. Hire a professional to do this if you are unable or not sure how to do it properly.

Ice dams can cause serious damage to your home. East Coast Powerwashing Inc. uses steam to remove ice dams. Steam is the only method to safely remove ice without damaging your gutters. You do NOT want to use a hammer or axe, because when you swing at something a hundred times one of them is going to go deep into the roof.

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