If you consider icicles hanging from your roof majestic, you might want to reconsider when you understand what they signify. If you have icicles, chances are you are at the mercy of an ice dam that can cause serious damage to your roof and the interior of your home, causing many headaches when spring arrives.
Definition of Ice Dam
An ice dam is an accumulation of ice that forms when melted snow runs off of your roof and refreezes on the eaves and gutters. Why does this happen? The heat of your roof helps the snow to melt, especially if your roof is not properly insulated. Once the water runs down, past the exterior walls of your home, it loses the heat and begins to freeze again. It then has a “snowball” effect so to speak, as the snow continues to melt; it runs right into the ice that has already formed on the eaves and gutters, making the ice dam heavier and more damaging.
How your Home is Affected
As the ice dam continues to grow, it starts to seep underneath the shingles of your roof. It can even seep into your ceilings and walls. The evidence is not always readily apparent, and oftentimes it isn’t until the damage is severe that you even realize it. A few of the most common problems are mold growth, damaged walls and ceilings and damage to the insulation in your walls, rendering it ineffective, causing you to lose heat inside your home.
The best way to avoid this type of damage from occurring to your roof is to take preventative action. If your attic or crawl space lacks insulation, you could be letting the warm air out. This is what causes the snow to melt and subsequently freeze once it reaches the eaves. In the event that snow does accumulate on your roof, using a snow rake, sold at most local hardware stores, you can knock a majority of the snow off of your roof, which can also help to prevent the growth of ice dams, allowing you to keep your home safe from damage this winter.