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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Why do Ice Dams form on Gutters? Protecting your Mahoning County property: WINTER edition

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

roof with icicles hanging from the top we are available 24/7 to make all you winter water disasters, “Like it never even happened.”

As the leaves fall and the seasons change, it becomes clearer… winter is closing in.  Living in a northern climate we can always expect to experience winter storms that can really pile up the snow.  When the snow builds up your roof, you can start to see icicles hanging down, a clear indication that you have an ice dam starting.

What’s an ice dam? 

Ice dams are the result of snow melting on the roof and running down to the eave of your home. Once this water makes it to the edge of the roof it freezes.  As the water keeps melting under the snow, it keeps building ice up and slowly creates a dam of ice. Our roofs are designed to shed water, not to have standing water on them. Once the ice dam has built up large enough to stop the melting snow water from shedding off the roof, the water will start to find a way to migrate through the shingles. Then the water will begin to penetrate the roof causing the water to leak into your home. Typically, it will show up in the corner of the wall and ceiling, at the top of windows and doors or at the bottom of the wall making the flooring wet.

Why do ice dams happen?

Ice dams are the result of heat escaping from the home into the attic.  As the attic warms up, it heats the roof decking and starts to melt the snow. The water runs under the snowpack and freezes once it makes it to the overhang. 

How can you prevent ice dams?

Having adequate insulation and proper ventilation in your attic can greatly minimize ice damming on your home.

Once you have an active ice dam, damages will start.  Wet insulation, bubbling paint and possibly drywall sagging.  With the water in the ceiling and walls, it is important to have the wet areas mitigated. 

If you see the signs of ice damming and have water intrusion in your home, be sure that you call SERVPRO – we are available 24/7 to make all you winter water disasters, “Like it never even happened.”  

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