As winter sets in, homeowners often face a hidden hazard – ice dams. These formations, while
sometimes deceptively beautiful, can cause significant damage to your home. At Robison
Construction, we believe in educating our clients about these winter challenges. This guide will
explore what ice dams are, how they form, their potential dangers, the problems they can
cause, how to safely remove them, and, most importantly, how to prevent them.
What is an Ice Dam?
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from
draining off the roof. It typically occurs after a heavy snowfall and several days of freezing
temperatures. These ice formations might appear harmless, but they are more than just an
How Do Ice Dams Form?
The formation of ice dams is a result of uneven roof temperatures. Heat from the attic warms
the roof, except at the eaves. Snow melts on the warmer part of the roof and refreezes as it
reaches the colder eaves, forming a dam. Poor attic insulation and ventilation exacerbate this
problem, highlighting the importance of proper home maintenance.
Are Ice Dams Dangerous?
The short answer is yes. Ice dams can cause water to back up under roof shingles, damaging
walls, ceilings, insulation, and other internal areas. They also pose a risk of falling icicles, which
can be dangerous for people and pets.
What Problems Can Ice Dams Cause?
Apart from physical damage to the structure of your home, ice dams can lead to mold and
mildew growth, compromising indoor air quality. They can also strain your roof structure,
potentially leading to costly repairs or even a roof replacement.
How Do You Safely Get Rid of Ice Dams?
Safety should be your priority. While it might be tempting to chip away at an ice dam, this can damage your roof. Instead, consider using calcium chloride ice melt to help break down the ice. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, it’s wise to call professionals like Robison Construction, who have the right tools and expertise.
Prevent Ice Dams: Keeping Ice Buildup at Bay
Prevention is key when it comes to ice dams. Here are some steps you can take:
Improve Attic Insulation and Ventilation: This reduces the amount of heat reaching the roof, thereby preventing snow melt and refreeze.
Seal Attic Bypasses: Warm air leaking into the attic is a major contributor to ice dams. Sealing
these areas can make a significant difference.
Install Heated Cables: If you’re prone to ice dams, consider installing heated cables along the roof’s edge to prevent ice buildup.
Regular Roof Maintenance: Clearing your roof of snow after a heavy snowfall can help prevent
ice dams from forming.
Ice dams can be a serious issue during the winter months, but with the right knowledge and preventative measures, you can protect your home from their damaging effects. Remember, if you’re unsure about tackling ice dams on your own, Robison Construction is here to help. Stay safe and warm this winter!
Did you have damage from ice dams this year? Schedule your free inspection with Robison Construction and Roofing online at https://Robison-Construction.com today! or give us a call at our Eastern Iowa Office at 319-363-0110 or our Central Iowa Office at 515-882-2200! We offer financing options for individuals who find themselves with a big need and a tight budget. We also work with insurance companies. Our years of experience can help take the guess work out of how to handle these insurance claims! Reach out to one of our dedicated Project managers today and you will see why Robison Construction is one of the top rated roofing companies! We look forward to servicing you today