Apr 09 2011

What is an ice dam on a roof?

Category: Home Improvement


Ice DamAn ice dam is the buildup of ice near the edge of a roof that prevents any remaining ice, snow, or water from escaping. It is considered a destructive occurrence because, if not removed, a significant amount of water can collect and start to seep into the structure of your home. The initial accumulation of an ice dam is often caused when outside temperatures are below freezing and it begins to snow. The snow, located on the upper sections of your roof, will begin to melt from heat loss due to poor insulation. As the ice melts, the water moves to lower, colder sections of your roof where it refreezes. This is where the ice damn begins to form. Ice will essentially keep accumulating until it gets to the higher and warmer sections of the roof where it doesn’t melt and remains a liquid. This trapped water has nowhere else to go but into the structure of your home, possibly causing significant water damage. Ice dams will typically have higher occurrences on lower pitched roofing.

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