Ice Dams: Harbingers of Home Problems this Winter

Ice Dams in St PaulDuring the winter months, it’s normal to see icicles hanging from the eaves of your roof. It’s almost romantic; it adds flavor to the season, reminding you of childhood snow angels and colorful mittens, Christmas trees and presents.

When the cold season was over and the icicles and snow began to melt, as a child you didn’t even know the damage that ice and snow may have caused in your home and you wondered why your dad always took out the ladder to look at your roof.

Fast forward to your life as a homeowner

Now that you’re a homeowner yourself, you know better. Ice and snow can really do a number on your home, especially the roof. The icicles are still nice to look at, but you know somewhere above them, your roof is covered with snow and ice that can cost thousands in damages if you don’t remove them.

Ice dam removal service providers get hundreds of calls, you imagine, because of all the homeowners jittery at the thought of all that harmful ice on their roofs.

What are ice dams?

Ice dams are chunks of ice that may form on surfaces during the coldest months. You can wait for them to melt, but because they are continuous chunks that usually form along with your roof’s margins, they can cause water to back up and go under the shingles. This happens when the snow or ice above the dams melts first, and as the dams are preventing the water from flowing down to the gutters and away from your house, the results can be very bad. Backed up water flows up to ten feet on your roof. Imagine all the damage this can do under your shingles. In a matter of hours, the water damage can reach your beams, walls, and ceiling.

The first signs

Rust spots on drywall fasteners are a sign that water is backing up on your roof. Paint may start to peel too, drywall may sag, and windows and doors will be framed by stains caused by water damage.

Your insurance may pay for all the damage started by ice dams on your roof, but the cost and aggravation of fixing the damage is something you can and should avoid. So the next time you get all nostalgic at the sight of those ice formations around your home, remember also that after the snow you’ve got a professional to call.