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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Does an Ice Dam Form and What You Should Do About It

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

Picture of an Ice Dam Know how an Ice Dam forms by Following Our Tips.

Homeowners in Colorado Springs, CO, face several obstacles after a snow storm. An ice dam is one of them. This buildup of frozen water accumulates along the edge of the roof. Instead of melting, it remains there, blocking moisture from moving downward.

This situation leads to physical concerns that could increase repair costs and needs. Owners must check their roofs and understand what to do if they suspect this trouble has started.

Important questions to consider as regards an Ice Dam

Why Doesn't All of the Ice Melt After a Winter Storm?

It seems natural that everything would flow away at once. That doesn't always happen, though. How does part of the roof break down but not the other? It depends on several critical factors:

  • The temperature of the roof level
  • The roof's structure
  • The placement of heating sources

Snow melts at 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This number remains vital in an ice dam's formation. If a roof has an even slope and the entire structure's temperature falls at 32 or higher, the snow dissolves without a problem.

Some roofs, however, have formations that allow for temperatures to vary. The top may reach 32, but the bottom stays lower. The ice clings to the roof's colder areas. When this situation occurs, a barrier blocks the other liquid.

In addition, remember that hot air rises. The temperature inside the home may force warmer temperatures to occur at the house's peak. The snow melts there but not at the lower locations. Several factors impact this event, such as insulation and conduction.

What Problems Can Ice Dams Cause?

Homeowners don't want moisture to develop on the rooftop. The water has nowhere to go, so it sits, absorbing into small cracks or gaps within the shingles and flashing. The ice dam proves hazardous to the structure, dampening materials and allowing the fungus to reproduce.

Microbes such as mold and mildew thrive in these dark, damp locations. They feast on wet, organic matter such as wood and insulation, making the roof a perfect host. Once they set in, they grow at rapid rates, increasing exponentially within one to two days.

Furthermore, water adds heaviness to a home's roof. The upper level should protect, keeping external elements out. However, too much water could cause a collapse.

What Action Should Homeowners Take?

After a snowstorm, inspect the property for any damage. Pay close attention to the roof and the drainage. If you think ice has formed a barricade along the roofline, reach out to water damage experts in Colorado Springs, CO. The experts can assess the situation and create an action plan to restore the premises.

Check on your ice dam coverage; speak with your insurance company, and open a claim. Make sure the snow is taken off of the roof. Improve flow as much as possible to eliminate the excess water. This step minimizes further deterioration.

Allow the specialist to seal off any exposures, preventing leaks and decreasing contamination. In addition, monitor temperatures and avoid creating situations that promote fungus growth.

If you're a homeowner, know how an ice dam forms and how you should react to it. Focus on clearing the structure and keeping it dry. Contact professionals for an assessment and remediate any water damage.

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