When people think of winter they may picture a snow covered roof with icicles hanging, however many people don’t know that icicles could be a sign of an ice dam.
In order for ice dams to develop you need three things: excessive snow build up, subfreezing temperatures and improper insulation that allows heat to enter your attic from your home. The longer the temperatures remain below zero the greater the chances that your home will develop an ice dam. Also, the greater the heat loss from your home into your attic, the greater the chances of an ice dam developing. This is why having proper attic insulation is important. Ice Dams are caused when your roof is covered in snow and heat from your attic begins to melt the snow everywhere except the colder eaves. When the water flows into the gutters and at the colder eaves of the roof it freezes and creates a blockage, or dam of ice. As more water flows toward the colder eaves it freezes higher and higher on the roof and the flow of water from the warmer roof area will then flow and go over the ice dam and begin to cause an icicle. This will cause the flowing water to back up under the shingles and into the home causing water damage. Water damage can lead to mold growth, and if not noticed, wood decay. Also if your insulation gets wet it can lose R value and allow more heat to enter the attic making the condition worse.
If you see icicles hanging from your roof that are larger than an inch or two, and especially if there is a large concentration of icicles, it is possible that you may have an ice dam. If you suspect you have ice damming, breaking off the icicles will not solve the issue and can cause roof damage. Some ice dam solutions are to use a roof rake to remove the snow, or to call a professional to remove the ice with steam. One DIY method is to fill a stocking with ice melt and place it on the ice dam to melt the blockage and allow the water to flow to the ground. However this can have negative effects on any plants or landscaping you have beneath the blockage. The best idea is to contact a professional to come out and inspect the roof for an ice dam.
Also if you notice water entering your home in the attic or coming from the ceiling you can place a fan in the attic at the point where water is entering. The fan will move the cooler air from the lower eave and freeze the water at the point where it is leaking in. This is only a temporary solution but it will help in reducing the spread of the water damage until professionals can arrive.
If you suspect that you may have damage due to an ice dam or any other damage caused by ice or the cold, please feel free to call our specialists toll free at 1-877-858-FLEX. We can assist you with the damage caused to your home and help guide you through the home owners insurance claim process, should the damage be covered under your insurance.
FLEX Builders is ready and mobilized for fast response. Our Restoration Specialists are on call 24-7 for all covered emergency situations including:
- Physical damage to home from falling ice, trees, tree limbs, flying debris.
- Damage to home caused by snow, rain or wind.
- Damage to home and contents from water or snow entering through openings caused by high winds.
- Freezing conditions such as burst pipes or ice dams