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Homeowner Series - Ice Dams

What are Ice Dams? How do they form? Why is it important to prevent them?



What is an Ice Dam?

An Ice Dam is a small solid wall of ice that forms towards the edge of the overhang on your roof. The warm air escaping your home warms up the shingles on the face of the roof, and turns solid snow/ice into running water. This running water then runs down the slope of your roof ,and as it gets to the unheated overhang, refreezes. This frozen section creates a 'dam' of solid ice/snow, trapping melt-water. The now trapped liquid water will puddle and push up and into the roof shingles.



How and why do Ice Dams form?

Ice Dams form not due to cold weather, but due to warm air escaping your attic in an uncontrolled way! As a general rule, you always want to make sure either your attic floor (the more recommended option) or your attic interior walls are insulated to prevent heat loss. This way, the heat won't warm the slope of your roof and turn slushy snow or ice into running water. You will also save a ton on heating / electric bills!


Why is it important to prevent Ice Dams?

The meltwater of Ice Dams can actually penetrate your roofing surface and work its way into your home. Normally, water will slide off the roof surface due to the slope of the roof. However, if the water is allowed to sit there, it can penetrate through the shingles, through the Ice and Water barrier (this barrier is not 100% impermeable), and through the roof decking. The result can be costly repairs, mold growth, or worse, the structural weakening of your roof!




If you have an issue with ice damming, don't wait until the issue gets worse! Call DGB Construction, Inc for an inspection today. Honest, practical solutions. 815-444-8336.



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