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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What You Need To Know About Ice Dams

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Icicles hanging from a roof Ice dams occur when there are varied temperatures on your snowy roof

What You Need To Know About Ice Dams

You may think that once a winter storm ends, the risk of damage to your Colorado Springs, CO, home is over. However, that is not the case. That’s because an ice dam can develop on your roof.
The dam can block melting water from flowing off the roof. Instead, the water can flow through cracks in the roof and enter your home.

Ice dams occur when there are varied temperatures on your snowy roof. Specifically, if the higher parts of your roof have a temperature above freezing, the snow on that section of the roof will melt. The melted snow will then flow down to the lower section of the roof. If the temperature there is more than 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the water will refreeze, creating the dam.
Warmer temperatures on parts of the roof surface thus can cause an ice dam. This heat can enter the roof in three ways:

  1. Convection
  2. Radiation
  3. Conduction

Convection, Radiation and Conduction

Convection occurs when rising air brings heat to the roof. Air leakage within the home is a common source of convection. Radiation works similarly but occurs when the heat moves via electromagnetic rays. Conduction, meanwhile, is heat transfer through a solid object, such as a pot on the stove.

Preventing and Handling Ice Dams

The best way to stop ice dam coverage from damaging your home is to prevent dams from forming in the first place. You may want to move your exhaust system so it doesn’t end right above the roof. Attics, meanwhile, should be properly insulated to keep heat from escaping. You should also make your ceilings airtight.
If you do notice a dam on your roof, try creating channels in the dam that the blocked water can flow through. You can do this by hosing the roof with tap water.
Still, this may not completely prevent the melted snow from entering your home. Thankfully, even if your house is affected by an ice dam, water damage repair specialists can assist with the restoration process.

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