Choose the Ice Dam Dry Out Experts at PDQ Restoration and Limit Long-Term Complications From Ice and Water Damage

What Is Ice Damming?

When there is a large amount of snow on your roof, the heat from inside your house can melt this snow. This heat gets into your attic through vent fans, the pull-down stair access, and sometimes even your recessed lighting. Since warm air naturally rises, it goes to the upper section of the roof, where the snow begins to melt.

Once melted, the water then flows over to the edge of your roof, reaching the overhang on the eaves. These eaves extend past the heated portion of your roof, so the water then refreezes. Once this water is refrozen, an “ice ridge'' is created, and continues to grow thicker, sometimes up to 8 inches.

Then, when more snow falls, melts, and thaws from either warmer temperatures or rain, this water becomes trapped behind the refrozen ice ridge, creating an “ice dam.” This trapped water can move under the roof’s shingles and even leak into the house, through ceilings and walls, causing severe water damage.

What Are Some Ways To Prevent Ice Damming and Minimize Water Damage?

ice damming NJ

When a home is being roofed, a second layer of roofing, made from a sticky membrane called Ice and Water Shield, can be added before the shingles are installed. If the trapped water from an ice dam gets underneath the shingles, it will pool on the rubberized sheet, instead of the roof deck. This is a good method, but it’s not foolproof.

Keeping your roof cold to prevent snow melt and pooling water, is another solution. Make sure your attic has sufficient insulation in order to prevent warm air from the house from getting into the attic.

Add attic vents to help keep your roof colder in the winter and remove moisture. This moisture can cause condensation on the bottom of your roof deck, which can turn into mold and wood rot. These vents can help ensure that the snow on your roof doesn’t melt, creating an environment for ice dams to form.

If you have ductwork in your attic, be sure to check for leaks and the proper amount of insulation. If these ducts are not in good condition, the warm air from your heating system will basically be heating your attic. This will keep your roof from staying cold and can cause ice damming.

What About Ice Dam Removal?

Ice dam removal can be very complicated, and if not done properly, very costly. Some other possible issues that need to be considered, along with the removal of the ice dam include:

  • Damage to shingles or roofing materials and sheathing
  • Condition of drip edge and gutters
  • Attic moisture, possible mold, or subfloor damage
  • Damage to insulation, ceilings, wiring, or windows
  • Condition of any mechanical systems in the attic

As the homeowner, you can safely remove snow buildup yourself, if the ice is not strongly attached to the roof. Once it has loosened its grip on your house, you can gently chip it away. If there is a large buildup, or you notice an ice dam forming, take action immediately.

If the ice dam is firmly attached to your roof, it is advised to seek an expert to remove it. They will address the issue itself, along with assessing if you have roof or water damage. Work with a company who has roofing experience so any additional issues can be addressed before the next snow storm.

Remember removing the ice dam is just the first step in a process to ensure you don’t wind up with uninsured damage repair and health problems down the road. As with all water and ice damage, it’s what you can’t see that can cause you the greatest problems.

What Other Problems Can Ice Damming Cause?

Rotting materials, pesky odors, persistent staining, and even worse, health-threatening mold growth are all issues which can occur from ice damming. Hire a professional damage restoration company, like PDQ Restoration, to inspect the building to make sure there is no water penetration that can cause further damage. With the proper tools on hand to inspect visible and hidden areas of your home for water penetration, you are ensured the best chances of no ongoing, lingering issues from ice damage that could be catastrophic.

Each year, thousands of homeowners have to deal with ice damming, and its lingering effects. The water damage caused to the interior and exterior walls of their home can be devastating. By choosing PDQ Restoration, you can limit long-term complications from ice and water damage.