You may have noticed long icicles hanging from your gutters and not realize the significance of the damage that may be occurring behind them. Icicles are usually one of the first warning signs of possible ice dams on your roof. The experts at Lance Roofing can explain what ice dams are, how they form and the best methods for removing them safely.
What is an Ice Dam?
An ice dam is a wall of ice that forms at the edge of the roof, usually at the gutters or soffit. When it forms the water then backs up behind the ice dam and creates a pool of water. This pool of water can leak into your home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.
What Causes Ice Dams?
Ice dams are usually caused by heavy snowfall, followed by cold temperatures and/or improper ventilation and insulation in the attic. This causes warmer areas in your attic even when the outside temperature is well below freezing. When the accumulated snow on your roof starts melting it runs down your roof underneath the snow until it reaches a “colder” section like the soffits, valleys or in gutters then it begins to freeze again, this process of thawing and refreezing is what causes an ice dam.
Cleaning the gutters on your home can help prevent ice dams from occurring as quickly but they can still occur if the conditions are right. The gutters will be just as cold as it is outside and in some cases, full of frozen debris. So even if you don’t have a soffit for the water to refreeze in, the melted water will most likely refreeze when flowing into the gutters.