Ice Damming – Prevention & How to Fix it

The colder months can cause havoc with our lives and our homes. Ice dams can damage your roof, ceiling, walls and even the contents of your home if it isn’t dealt with swiftly. We like a two-tier approach – work to prevent ice dams and act fast when they occur.

Ice dams are a winter headache that most of us could do without. They form when heavy snow builds up, melts, then refreezes. You will have seen this when the daytime temperature is a lot warmer than it has been but plummets back below freezing overnight. After several days of this cycle, ice can work its way up under the shingles, damaging your home. 

What is an ice dam?

Ice dams appear as crests of ice at the edge of your roof. They prevent melted snow from draining through gutters, leaving it to pool and eventually cause severe water damage to your home.

The ice infiltrates your shingles during a freeze cycle then your roof becomes vulnerable when the ice begins to melt again. You might find leaks both outside and inside your home. The water can damage your ceiling, walls and even the contents of your home if you don’t spot it and act hastily. 

On the exterior, ice damming can cause severe damage to your roof, shingles and gutters if not cleared quickly.

What can I do to avoid an ice dam?

Ice dams are hard to avoid in our region, but there are some ways you can reduce the risk of damage to your roof.

• Metal roofing – while it’s not the most aesthetically-pleasing or cost-effective option, if you have a small area that routinely suffers from ice dams, you could investigate the cost of a metal roof. For example, an external building such as an office in your garden. 

• Insulate your attic effectively – poorly ventilated or poorly insulated attics increase the likelihood of ice dams and also have other unpleasant effects you will want to avoid. A poorly ventilated attic is more likely to suffer from mould; a poorly insulated attic could cost considerably more in heating bills. If your attic is unevenly insulated, you will increase your risk of ice damming. We can check your attic for ventilation and insulation, reducing your risk of ice dams and mould.

• Remove snow during temperature fluctuations – as we said, ice dams occur when the temperature rises and falls around freezing level several times, so be proactive at removing snow from your roof. We don’t recommend removing the snow yourself; unless you are a trained professional, you are putting yourself and your roof at risk! Use a professional snow removal service - an expense worth paying to avoid an ice dam.

What roofs are most at risk of ice-damming?

Flat roofs are much more susceptible to ice-damming as water can pool easily on them, and the sheer weight of snowfall can cause structural damage. But older homes also have an increased risk. If your home is older, you may have noticed it has reduced ventilation compared to modern builds. Unfortunately, this can make you more susceptible to ice dams and mould issues.

Suffered damage through ice-damming?

If your home or business is already experiencing issues due to ice-damming, please don’t delay. The longer an ice dam is established the more potentially serious issues can occur. Speak to us today – available 24/7/365.

ServiceMaster Restore Moncton – Restoring Peace of Mind® since 1972.