Thursday, February 20 2014
It seems like we may be out of the negative degree temperature days, for at least the time being. However, snow melting temperatures can end up creating a completely different, and equally dangerous issue for your home heating situation. Ice dams are a home design issue that can be very damaging and dangerous if not managed correctly.
What is an ice dam?
Ice dams form when snow melts on a hot spot of a roof. The melted snow runs down on the ice still present near the edge of the building's roof. As the water begins to refreeze, it will result in more ice than was originally present on the roof. This process can continue until as ice dam has formed. Similar to a functional water dam, the ice dam will hold back water and keep it present on the roof, even if the temperature is warm enough to melt the snow.
What are the dangers?
An ice dam may seem like a harmless home annoyance, but there are some real strucutral and physical dangers associated with an ice dam. The first is that the weight can cause structural damage to the building. A second issue is that the water being held back can result in mold on the roof or it can seep in and cause breakdown in the attic or upper level of the building. A final issue is that the ice dam has the risk of falling at any time, especially as temperatures rise. This can be very dangerous for home or business owners who could be hit by a falling ice dam.
What to do about ice dams?
Ice dams are a simple issue, but they can be a pain to fix. A single ice dam can be steamed, manually removed, or dissolved with salt or other chemicals. Ice dam removal specialists can help with any of these issues and are able to remove an ice dam in a short amount of time. However, another issue can be that the heating process that occurs on your home's roof has created an environment for more ice dams to form in the future. If that is the case, then you will need to evaluate the chimney situation or heat exhaust design of your home. That way you can identify potential hot spots on the roof that will melt snow and can lead to ice dam formation.
Get your roof checked as soon as possible for potential ice build up issues. This will ensure that you home and family stay safe and happy the rest of the winter season. Good luck and thanks for reading!
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