What is an ice dam?
Such as the name implies, an ice dam can be a dam produced of ice along the edge of the roof line,
and as most dams do, an ice dam prevents melting snow from finding its method to the gutters and downspouts.
Instead, the snow melting into water finds the dam of ice and refreezes developing even
a lot more ice.the name suggests, an ice dam is a dam made of ice along the edge of the roof line, and as most dams do, an ice dam prevents melting snow from finding its way to the gutters and downspouts.
The snow melting into water finds the dam of ice and refreezes forming even more ice. Sometimes the water backs up behind the dam and will leak into the house and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.
Figure 1 shows a cross section of a home with an ice dam.
What causes different roof surface temperatures?
Ice dams form in the edge of the roof; it is as a result of a heat source greater up toward the peak of the roof inducing the snow cover to begin to melt. This heat source is most constantly as a result of a lack of properly insulated attic space. The next time you drive by your neighborhood, take a look at the homes that have a complete roof of snow - most likely, these homes are correctly insulated and vented…
When you spot a home that's got “vertical stripes” of visible roof (see picture # 1), these will be the homes that are a lot more than most likely not insulated and vented correctly therefore the heat from the residence is warming the roof line in between every of the ceiling rafters.
Picture # 1 shows a single story house with an ice dam. The points of heat loss can be clearly seen as those areas with no snow. The ceiling below this area needs to be examined for air leakage and missing or inadequate insulation.
Photograph 2 illustrates unusually high heat loss from the roof. There is very little snow left on the roof and at its edge is both an ice dam and a "beautiful" row of icicles.
Dealing with ice dams
- Have the snow removed from the roof. This eradicates one of the ingredients necessary for the formation of an ice dam. A "roof rake" can be used to remove snow, they are available at most home improvement stores.
- In an emergency situation where water is flowing into the house, a channel must be made through the ice dam that will allow the water behind the dam to drain off the roof. Hosing with tap water on a warm day will do this job.
- Increase the ceiling/roof insulation to cut down on heat loss. The R-value of the insulation should be at least 30 to be completely effective.
For Emergency Ice Dam Repair call
Best Rhode Island Roofing 401-298-0449 or click HERE