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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

3 Common Questions About Ice Dams

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

Ice Dams: Three Common Questions

An ice dam is a frozen barricade at the edge of your roof. It forms when the snow on top of your home starts to melt and slowly slide off the roof, only to refreeze at its edge, causing a big, icy pile-up.

1. How Do Ice Dams Form?
Over time, the warm air inside your house heats the underside of your roof, causing accumulated snow to melt and slide off. In most cases, it does this very slowly — so slowly that when that slush hits the edge of your roof under the right conditions, it refreezes.
This is because there's no cozy interior air rising up and keeping things warm beneath your gutter and your roof's overhang. Instead, the snowmelt gets zapped with frigid air and turns back to ice.

2. Can They Cause Damage?
Ice dams often prevent future snowmelt from running off the roof. Eventually, that accumulated water will try to find a way into your home via cracks, holes and shingles.

3. How Do You Prevent an Ice Dam From Forming?
Early detection is key. There are certain preventative measures you can take, such as heated gutters and downspouts, but being able to spot the signs of a nascent dam is the best way to avoid placing a call to your local storm damage restoration company. They include:

  • Ice on siding
  • Ice on top of gutters
  • Icicles on the edge of the roof or gutters
  • Ice or water around a window frame or door
  • Ice or water inside a window frame or door

If you live in an area with frequent snowfall or own a vacation home away from Sarcoxie, MO, that does, talk with your insurance agent about ice dam coverage. It's often included as part of a homeowners insurance policy's dwelling coverage.
An ice dam doesn't have to end in disaster. When a winter storm hits, step away from that roaring fire (or YouTube video of a roaring fire) and check in on your roof every once in a while.

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