You're A Homeowner Not A Beaver: Getting Rid Of Ice Dams

21 March 2023
 Categories: , Blog


If you were a beaver, you might be excited to look up at your roof and see ice dams. But you're a human and a homeowner, and because of that, you probably won't and should not be happy about ice dams forming on your roof. These big sheets of ice may look pretty or even a bit magical, but the damage they can cause is anything but. Keep reading to learn why ice dams are such a big problem for your roof, and what you can do about them.

How do ice dams form? 

Ice dams form when your roof is warm near its peak. The snow melts in this warm area, and the resulting water runs down the roof. If conditions are right, the edges of your roof will still be pretty cold, and so the water will refreeze there. This process will keep happening, so the layers of ice will keep building on top of one another, forming what is known as an ice dam.

Why are ice dams bad?

Just like beaver dams can cause trouble for rivers, ice dams can cause trouble for your roof. Water is one of the very few substances that expands as it freezes. So, if a tiny bit of water gets under the edge of a shingle and then freezes, it will expand and pry the shingle further off the roof. This happens all of the time with ice dams. 

Ice dams also tend to extend into gutters. The expanding ice can cause the edges of the gutter to bend and distort. Then, your gutters no longer function as they should, which becomes problematic for your roof. Your roof is exposed to more water and suffers more damage when the gutters are not working well.

How do you get rid of ice dams?

To get rid of and prevent ice dams, you need to focus on keeping your roof cooler. That can be accomplished in two ways. First, have a roofer add more insulation to your attic. This will keep the attic cooler, which will keep your roof cooler. Second, have your roofer add more vents to the attic. This will give warm air a way to escape — other than through the roof.

You're not a beaver, which means there's no reason to have a dam in your home. Talk to your local roofer to learn more about ice dams and their prevention. For more information, contact a company like Twin City Roofing Construction Specialists, Inc.