Pretty, Glistening Icicles or Dangerous Ice Dams?
If you see icicles on the side of your roof, that might be an indication that an ice dam has formed. An ice dam is a barrier of ice that forms along the edge of your roof. Ice dams form when heat from the attic melts snow on the roof, and the snow melt drains to the colder edge of the roof where it refreezes. As it freezes, it forms a barrier at the edge of the roof – the so-called ice dam. This blocks the runoff of further melted snow, which pools behind the ice dam. At some point, that accumulated water will find its way through the shingles and roofing, and down into your attic and home.
Water leakage into your walls, insulation, floors and ceilings can cause extensive damage and mold growth, which will cost you money to fix and degrade indoor air quality. Ice and heights are a combination that can create a hazardous situation, which means you need to get rid of ice dams correctly. Hire a professional to remove any formed ice dams from your roof, or alternatively, he can remove snow from your roof if the ice dams have not fully formed. For a temporary solution, you can try hosing the ice dams with warm water.
You can melt just enough to allow backed up water to escape. Dealing with dams is difficult and it’s best to prevent them in the first place. As stated, ice dams are caused by uneven heating in your attic. When the upper part of the roof gets warm, it melts snow or ice and the water flows to the lower part and freezes, usually around the edges. To prevent this, ensure that you have sufficient attic and roof insulation. This will prevent heat from melting snow on the roof.
On top of that, seal any air leaks into the attic from the living spaces below, to keep that warm air down where you want it. Our goal is to help educate customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems). Contact us at Sobieski Services.
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