Ice damming occurs as a result of a temperature difference under and above the roof of a house or building. The warm air from inside the house or building heats the roof and melts the snow above it. The melted snow then re-freezes at unheated areas of the roof resulting in the formation of icicles at areas like eaves troughs. As the snow above the heated surface continues to melt further, it forms water pools on the roof as the icicles prevent the water from draining outwards from the roof. Eventually, the pool of water finds its way into your house through sheathing, insulation and wall cavities.
Damages Caused by Ice Damming:
The formation of ice dams on the roof can cause different types of damages. Water that seeps into the house can damage ceilings, walls and cause structural damages. It may damage roof coverings as well. Dampness on ceilings and walls attract mould growth, which can cause further damage to your house. On the other hand, as more and more ice re-freezes on the gutter, pressure builds-up and can collapse the gutters, damaging the exterior structure of your house.
- Structural Damage
- The water from ice dams flows under the shingles resulting in water leaks. Water leaks damage ceilings, walls, floors and insulation. As the leak gets severe, it causes wood rot and ends up as severe structural damage.
- Gutter System Damage
- Ice damming damages the exterior of the house also. The increasing weight of snow and ice on the roof puts pressure on the gutter system resulting in its misalignment. As a result, the gutter system will no longer effectively drain off water from the roof. In extreme cases, part of the gutter system under the pressure of built-up ice can collapse as well.
- Growth of Mould
- Mould thrives on surfaces with dampness. Moist wood, wall paper and ceilings are favourable surfaces for mould to germinate and grow, which damages your house further. In short, ice damming badly affects the structural integrity of your house.
Preventing Ice Damming:
Ice damming is preventable. Taking proper precautions will prevent ice damming and the damages resulting from it.
- Proper Insulation
- Heat from inside the house or building comes to the attic and warms up the roof. This is how ice dams start to form on the roof. Insulating the attic properly will minimize this heating process.
- Ensure Proper Ventilation
- To avoid ice damming, the roof of your house needs to be vented at the peak and at the eaves. Cold air moves freely above the insulation in the attic or ceiling. This keeps the roof cold and prevents the snow from melting to ice dams.
- Snow and Ice Shield
- Installing snow and ice shields beneath the shingles or on the top of the roof prevents water from routing its way into the interiors of your house. It is the protective feature of the shield that seals the attic and stands as a barrier to water making its way in.
In order to properly remove icicles, ice dams or snow that is accumulated on your roof, it is best advised to contact a restoration expert to avoid any further or possible damage from occurring. For more information on how to best prevent ice damming or for a quote on the installation of preventive measures, please contact your local Winmar Georgian Bay Muskoka at 1-888-656-6092.