How Do You Know If You Have an Ice Dam?

What exactly is an ice dam, and how do you know if you have one? An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms on the edge of your roof, blocking the flow of water from melting snow. The primary cause of an ice dam is warm air in your home’s attic. If your attic is not well insulated, warm air will rise and warm your roof’s underside—which will melt snow and ice. The resulting water from the melting snow and ice drains to the edge of your roof, where it is usually colder, and it refreezes.

Fortunately, while an ice dam is certainly not a welcome sight, you will easily be able to tell that you have a problem. There are a few red flags, including:

PPW-BlogImages-Nov15_0003_PPW-Images-Ice-On-Gutter-2-Sep13There are very large icicles on the side of your home. These are the surest signs of an ice dam. As snow and ice melts on your roof, then refreezes along your roof’s edge, your ice dam will continue to grow. This accumulation of ice will spill over the edge of your roof and gutters, forming icicles. While small icicles are not uncommon during the winter, those massive icicles that nearly reach the ground are a very bad sign. Do not attempt to remove them, as removing the icicles does nothing to address the problem that is causing the ice dam.

You notice water seepage in the exterior of your home. If water is dripping from the ceiling during the winter, you likely have an ice dam. With all that snow and ice on your roof with nowhere to go, it will begin to seep into your home, causing interior flooding.

Your attic is poorly insulated. When your home is not properly insulated, you will lose a lot of heat to your attic. This not only causes a rise in your home’s energy bills, as your furnace tries hard to produce enough heat to warm your entire home, but it also makes your roof the perfect candidate for an ice dam to form.
Once you realize you are dealing with an ice dam, it is time to call the professionals. Steaming is the safest way to remove the ice dam without causing damage to your home. When you need safe, professional ice dam removal, call the team at Perfect Power Wash. Request a quote today for your ice dam removal service.