Roof Ice Dams

Winter time can be a nice time to enjoy the snow, holidays and winter sports. But, it could also be a rough time for your roof!

So, what damage can be caused from Ice Dams? Well, for starters, LEAKS coming from your roof! How do you ask? It’s simple!

First, let’s start of by talking about how your shingles on your roof are supposed to work, followed by how Ice dams form.

You see, in most parts of the country and in my area of Bristol County Ma., We build our homes to have a roof pitch  most commonly at a  8/12 pitch. The most common style of roofing materials are Architectural shingles in Massachusetts. Most shingles work the same way and that they depend upon gravity/ or a downward motion. So, when it rains water sheds of your roof!

Ice dams however, have an upward motion. Kind of strange huh? You see, when you get a heavy snow storm, most of the time the snow sits on your roof until the sun and temperatures above freezing begin to melt the snow in a downward fashion. But, when the temperature dips below freezing again, that’s when ice dams begin to form at the gutter level of your roof.

So, if you have continued temperature changes from above freezing to below freezing the ice dam will only begin to grow larger, and then that’s when the problem begins! That’s when the Ice dam becomes your shingles worst enemy and begins to peel up your shingle and start leaking into your home; causing a lot of water damage before you realize it’s too late!

Here are some preventable measure you can take or have done:

1. You can go up into your attic to ensure the temperature is in about the same as the outside temperate, why?

Because if the temperature in your attic is warmer than the outside temperature, your only instigating the problem! What do I mean by that? Simple, when heat rises from your attic and then suddenly melts the snow above or ice then freezes, the ice dam will only become a bigger problem!

Solution, check around your attic for loose insulation or missing insulation. Why? Because if your losing heat, you can possibly prevent the problem. Also, check to be sure you have proper attic ventilation. You want to have an intake and a exhaust for air-flow in your attic. Reason being? Keeping the attic the same temperature as the outside temperature, thus, reducing your Ice damming problem. Look to see if you have a ridge-vent on top of your roof. Look to see if you have vents in your soffit.

Another way to reduce the chances of having a leak caused from ice dams, is to have ice&water shield installed along the ridge-line of your roof and in the valleys where leaks start from ice dams.


for more information, visit me atwww.mbmcarpentry.comand I’ll be happy to give you a free estimate an consultation. Or, leave a comment with a question and I’ll be happy to answer them as quickly as possible.