Common and expensive damages ice dams cause
If you are not familiar with ice dams, maybe you are a new homeowner, perhaps you are new to living in a state that has long sustained cold weather and snow. Whatever the case, an ice dam is a crest of ice that forms and inhibits melting snow water from draining off the roof.
As water ever continues to back up behind the ice dam, some major problems can occur because that sitting water may be able to leak through the roof shingles. Ice dams, in and of themselves, are not a genuine problem and generally cause no damage. Roofing shingles properly installed are underlaid with an ice and water shield membrane.
However, if the roof was not properly installed and/or the attic area was not properly insulated, the backed-up water will eventually find its way into the house and cause significant damage. Things like damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas are common problems caused by ice dam issues.
Ice dams typically build along roof eaves, above the cover line of outer walls. Heat loss from inside homes intensifies snow melting and ice-dam development on the roof. There are several reasons heat is lost from your home living area into the attic space and roofing environment. One common issue is that the rafters on most homes sit directly on top of exterior walls leaving a narrow space for insulation between the top of the wall and underneath the roof sheathing which can cause significant heat loss.
Another common issue concerning heat loos is that not all builders are exceptionally fastidious when it comes to air-sealing. It is crucial if you want to prevent the passage of warm indoor air up to the underside of the roof exterior. Warm air will often leak through wiring, lighting, and plumbing penetrations.
Also, warm indoor air can escape from the wall hollows rising upward and passing between the minor cracks that exist between the wall top-plate and drywall. Ice dams also commonly start below skylights because they are typically conducive to a lot of heat loss that melts the snow. The water consequently runs down to the colder section of the roof below the skylight and creates an ice dam.
Ice dam warning signs are generally slight at first such as small icicle formations or maybe some discoloration from a water stain on the ceiling. However, these signs can rapidly expand to become very damaging if not dealt with right away. One of the more common first ice dam warning signs is icicles forming behind the gutters and through the soffits anywhere along the lining of the exterior of the house.
Icicles in places they shouldn’t be is a sign. If you have repeated ice dams after snowstorms or an ice dam that keeps getting bigger and bigger chances are heat is leaking into the attic. Something is not right and the potential for water leakage caused by the ice dam is high. Don’t wait for disaster to strike get the problem fixed before it becomes a nightmare.
If you see brown colored icicles this is potentially a very bad sign. All the above-mentioned issues are signs to look out for to prevent damage. Some of these common warnings are signs that the ice dam has already started to cause damage to your property. So, quickly removing the ice is very important to help prevent further damage. You don’t want the water to keep running its way higher up your roof until sooner or later it is above the ceiling and leaking inside your property.
In some cases, insurance companies will cover the ice dam removal costs. When you see icicles forming and there is no running water outside because it is so cold out, it is time to call the insurance company and explain to them that ice dams may be damaging your home. If you can see that icicles are forming down the siding water may be getting into the wall cavity. Water never takes long before it is doing damage to the interior and even the exterior of your home as we shall discuss.
These are your ice dam warning signs. It is crucial to pay attention and look at all sides of your home for these signs. If you start to notice the warning signs read on so you can understand what you are up against and hopefully avoid these damages caused by ice dams and save yourself the expensive headaches and nightmares.