Ice dams are a common problem that homeowners deal with in our Wisconsin cold winter climate. An ice dam forms when melting snow transitions from a warm surface to a cold surface, such as along the overhang of a house. The build-up of ice is the result of ice or snow melting on the roof area over the warmer, living area of a building and then refreezes when it reaches the cold overhang of the soffit. This wall of ice at the gutter line creates a barrier for any further melting snow to make its way into the gutter system of the house. This continued build-up of ice can force leaking to occur under the shingles at the edges of the roof. Damage associated with an ice dam are lifted shingles, rotted roof decking and/or fascia and soffit wood, and of course, water leaking into the drywall inside your house.
If homeowners have interior damage caused by severe ice dams, the only option is to remove the snow immediately. The homeowner can choose to purchase a roof rake and pull the snow off the roof from the ground or choose to get onto the snow covered roof and shovel the snow off with a snow shovel.
Sometimes homeowners find themselves having to “chop” the ice off the roof because of such severe icing. This is not suggested due to the damage that can be potentially caused by puncturing the roof shingles, damage to gutters, etc. Damaging the roof could result in further leaks and expensive repairs that could have been avoided.
There are three ways to help prevent ice dams from forming on your roof: 1) Adequate attic insulation, 2) proper roof ventilation and 3) the necessary amount of ice and water shield.
We are committed to helping customers prevent problems with their new roofing system. We also are knowledgeable in helping customers fix problems with their existing roofing system. Please request a FREE estimate from our company if you are in need of the services we provide.