When you live in an area that gets frozen precipitation, such as snow, sleet, and ice, you need to be on the lookout for ice dams. These walls of ice form on the edge of the roof, causing potentially expensive damage.
What Are Ice Dams?
Snow typically falls when the temperature is around 32 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the temperature of the roof may be higher than 32 degrees. If it is, the snow over that part of the surface will melt.
Meltwater flows down toward the gutter. However, the edges of the roof aren’t exposed to the heat from the living areas of the house. If those surfaces are colder than 32 degrees, the water will freeze when it reaches them. An ice barrier begins to form.
Why Are Ice Dams Dangerous?
As more snow melts, the ice dam grows larger. The blockage contains the water that continues to melt and flow downward. Some of that water will never freeze if it remains on a warmer part of the roof.
It’s never a good idea to allow water to collect on your roof. As it sits there, it will seep through any cracks, leaking into the attic. From there, it can flow down to your walls or ceilings.
Water damage can cause moisture problems. It can also make mold develop, which is a health hazard.
How to Prevent Ice Dams
You can prevent ice dams from occurring by maintaining your roof. Get regular inspections to ensure that there are no cracks. Adding insulation to your attic and addressing energy leaks can also prevent warm air from seeping out through the roof.