What are Ice Dams? Causes, Prevention, and Solutions.

what are ice dams home with snow on roofHave you ever witnessed a winter wonderland forming on your roof, complete with sparkling icicles hanging from the eaves? As enchanting as they may appear, these icy formations might indicate a chilling foe lurking on your roof – Ice Dams.

What are ice dams? At Mid-Shore Exteriors, our roofing expertise helps us understand what ice dams are and how to tackle them. This extensive guide unravels the mystery of what ice dams are — how they’re caused, how to recognize them, preventive measures to consider, and professional remedies we can provide.

So, if you’re keen to learn how to keep this cold-weather adversary at bay, you’re at the right spot! Read on to learn how to ensure your roof is protected against every ice-dam challenge!

What Causes Ice Dams and How to Identify Them

what causes ice dams with snow covered roofs

So, what are ice dams? An ice dam is a buildup of ice along the roof’s edge, hindering melted snow from draining properly. This trapped water can seep into a home, leading to damaged walls, ceilings, insulation, and other parts of the house.

Wondering what causes ice dams? Ice dams happen when there’s snow on the roof, with higher parts warmer than freezing temperatures while the lower parts stay colder.  Here, we delve into what causes ice dams and the common scenarios leading to their formation:

  • 1. Snow Accumulation on the Roof: Roofing materials like asphalt shingles have a rough texture, which makes it easier for snow and ice to find a foothold. A snow-covered roof can often be a precursor to ice dams.
  • 2. Inadequate Insulation: A poorly insulated attic is like an escape hatch for heat from the living spaces below, causing the snow on the roof to melt and form ice dams. Understanding what ice dams are makes homeowners more aware of proper attic insulation to prevent heat transfer and subsequent ice dam formation.
  • 3. Complex Roof Design: Every roof is unique, and features like valleys and angles can become the perfect canvas for snow and ice to gather and evolve into ice dams.  Recognizing what ice dams are prompts homeowners to pay attention to the unique features of their roofs that may facilitate ice accumulation.
  • 4. Freezing and Thawing Cycles: The daily rhythm of winter — snow melting in the day’s sun only to freeze again in night’s cold — provides ideal conditions for ice dams to form. Understanding what ice dams are helps make homeowners more vigilant during freezing and thawing cycles.
  • 5. Gutters and Downspouts: We often underestimate the importance of clear pathways for snowmelt. Among ice dam causes, blocked or clogged gutters and downspouts are easily identifiable.

Knowing what causes ice dams is crucial for prevention. If you suspect your roof is at risk, don’t hesitate! We’re here to assist you in understanding what ice dams are and how to address them effectively. Also, consider exploring roof repair options at Mid-Shore Exteriors.

How to Prevent Ice Dams

When considering how to prevent ice dams, it’s best to begin by eliminating what causes ice dams. The following measures can drastically reduce or even prevent their occurrence, ensuring your roofs stay resilient no matter how the winter winds blow.

Ice Dam Education how to prevent ice dams education of chart showing a roof

Knowledge is your first line of defense. Understand what ice dams are, their causes, how to identify them, and steps to prevent them. Remember, an informed homeowner is a protected homeowner.

Snow & Icicle Removalice dam causes snow removal by young boy

Regularly removing snow accumulation and icicles from your roof prevents the material for ice dams from gathering in the first place. Tools like a roof rake are particularly handy!

Upgrade Roof or Parts of Roofhow to prevent ice dams upgraded roof view from overhead

In some cases, upgrading the whole roof or parts of it, such as combining a shingle and metal roof, can help promote snow and ice slide-off, thus mitigating the risk of ice dams.

Upgrade Insulationwhat are ice dams insulation installation by a professional

Enhancing the insulation in your attic can help retain the indoor heat and prevent it from warming the roof and melting the snow.

Professional Roof Inspectionwhat causes ice dams inspection by a professional with safety vestPeriodic roof inspection by professionals can help in the early detection and treatment of potential ice dam-forming areas.

Understanding what ice dams are and what causes ice dams is crucial to preventing them. However, grasping what causes ice dams and how to prevent ice dams involves various aspects of roof care. Eager to learn more about how to prevent ice dams?

Pro tip: During winter, another risk to your roof, trim, or gutters is sudden snow slides resulting from heavy snow or falling ice. To help protect your home and property from potential damages, consider installing snow guards as an additional safeguard.

Get in touch with our team and explore other practical ways to prepare your roof for winter.

Contact Mid-Shore Exteriors to Eliminate Ice Dam Causes for Good

While understanding what are ice dams and ice dam causes form a crucial foundation, effectively preventing ice dams may surpass a homeowner’s efforts. This is where the professional expertise and services of Mid-Shore Exteriors can make a world of difference.

As specialists in providing top-notch roofing solutions for almost two decades, we bring a finely honed blend of craftsmanship, advanced technology, and dedicated customer service to your doorstep. Whether it’s identifying potential ice dam causes, suggesting upgrading options for roof or insulation, or conducting periodic roof inspections, our formidable team of certified professionals ensures that your roof is fortified against winter’s ice dam menace.

Are you ready to bid farewell to the jarring ordeal of ice dams? Make the smart choice today and partner with Mid-Shore Exteriors.

Contact us now and let’s conquer the ice dam challenge, together!



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