Can Ice Dams Cause Water Damage?

minneapolis water damage repairIt has been freezing here in Minneapolis, literally.  All this cold weather may have resulted in icicles forming in your home. While these icicles may give your property a charming appearance, they are actually signs of a bigger issue called ice dams. Because they obstruct the efficient drainage of melting snow and ice from your roof, ice dams can leave your home in need of some serious water damage repair. Ice dams can cause water to spill into your attic and adjacent ceiling, leading to decay, rot, and mold growth. We are going to discuss how ice dams form in the first place, why they are a risk to your home and strategies that can lessen the chances of needing water damage repair as a result of ice dams by preventing them from forming. 

Minneapolis Water Damage Repair 

Let’s start at the beginning – what exactly is an ice dam? Ice dams develop when attic air warms up to the point where it heats the roof’s underside and melts the snow that is on top of it. When it reaches a rood edge or eave that is below freezing, the melting snow runs down the roof. This cycle of freezing, melting, running, and then refreezing again results in the formation of an ice dam, which obstructs the additional flow of runoff water. Snow that has nowhere else to go except up as it keeps melting will begin to seep beneath the shingles and into your home, resulting in, you guessed it, water damage. Water damage repair from ice dams often includes damaged drywall and plaster, water spots and stains on ceilings, and peeling or bubbling paint (just to name a few).

 To avoid ice dams, the following steps should be implemented:

  1. Maintain the condition of your roof before winter weather hits. Maintaining your roof and making sure you have enough insulation to block warm air from entering the attic are two of the greatest ways to prevent ice dams from forming.
  2. Examine your attic vents to ensure that the ducting is completely sealed and insulated and that ventilation is adequate. When functioning correctly, these vents keep cold air circulating under the roof and make sure that extra heat is not being transferred into the attic which can increase the effects of ice dam formation. 
  3. Evaluate the insulation and see if your attic floor requires additional insulation. Not only will this help prevent ice dams from forming on your roof, but it will also help your home to stay warmer and more energy efficient by keeping the warm air in your home and not letting it rise into the attic. 
  4. Cover the roof hatch. A weather stripping cap will retain the heat inside your house and stop it from seeping through an unsealed attic hatch. 

It can be a huge relief to not have to worry about ice dams throughout the winter, knowing that you are preventing possible water damage repairs from a damaged roof and leaks. That being said, even following every precaution out there, ice dams may still be able to form. If you need water damage repair from ice dams this winter, or any other cause for that matter, give us a call at 24Restore.