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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

All About Ice Dams

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

What is an Ice Dam?

-An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms on the edge of the roof and prevents any melting snow from draining properly off the roof. If the water cannot drain properly, it can back up into the house and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and other areas. 

What happens if the water seeps into the house?

-It is likely the water will cause mold or mildew to grow, which can be damaging to your health. 

Why do ice dams form?

-According to the University of Minnesota, nonuniform roof surface temperatures lead to ice dams. Heating from the house escapes through the roof, which causes the melting of snow on certain parts of the roof that are above 32F, but as it flows down, it reaches a place on the roof where the temperature is below 32F and freezes again. The water above the dam cannot flow down, thus it flows into cracks and openings into the home. 

How do we prevent ice dams?

-Make sure your ceiling is airtight, so no warm, moist air can flow into the attic space and make its way to the roof. Consider increasing ceiling/roof insulation to cut down on heat loss by conduction. Insulate attic access doors and remove any attic heat sources.

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