The combination of snow fall and extremely cold temperatures can result in ice dams.
What is an ice dam? An ice dam is an accumulation of ice at the lower edge of a sloped roof, usually at the gutter. When interior heat melts the snow on the roof, the water will run down and refreeze at the roof’s edge, where temperatures are much cooler. Eventually, the ice builds up and blocks water from draining off of the roof. This, in turn, forces the water under the roof covering and into the attic or down the inside walls of the house or other structure. Once an ice dam forms, the potential damage can be serious. Taking the following steps will decrease the likelihood that ice dams will form or, at least, will reduce their severity.
Protect your home from ice dams:
- Keep the attic well ventilated. The colder the attic, the less melting and refreezing on the roof.
- Keep the attic floor well insulated to minimize the amount of heat rising through the attic from within the house.
- If heavy snow does accumulate on the roof, have the snow removed from the outer edge.