What Causes Ice Dams on Homes?

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What Causes Ice Dams on Homes?

Many folks find the first snowfall of winter magical—a perfect way to kick off the holiday season. Unfortunately, as beautiful as it can be, snow causes problems to homes and roads. Ice buildup on roofs and gutters, known as ice dams, can cause moisture damage both inside and outside the home. What causes ice dams on homes? Learn how these obstructions form and how to prevent them from showing up around your home.

When cold weather comes around, homeowners are quick to get the heat going indoors. A solid heating system at home is great, but it can cause some potential problems, namely ice dams. The formation of ice dams starts with snowfall piling on the roof. As the heat from your home rises to the attic and roof, the snow outside begins to melt. Once the melting snow runs down the roof, it reaches the gutters. Due to the cold winter temperatures, that water can freeze inside the gutters and become ice. If your gutter is clear of debris, the water may flow to the downspout and away from your property. However, most situations will result in ice dams forming.

Don’t worry; the solution to ice dams doesn’t require you to keep the heat off during the winter. Instead, you can boost ventilation and insulation in your attic. Improper attic ventilation can have major consequences.

By improving attic ventilation or insulation, you can keep heat from reaching the attic, building up, and causing problems for your roof. If you’re willing to invest in a new roofing material, a high-quality metal roof will usually combat ice dams with ease. Compared to average asphalt shingles, metal allows snow to slide off the roof instead of accumulating. Ensuring reliable, high-quality installation of your new roof is one of the key reasons to hire certified roof installers, so don’t take a DIY approach to this upgrade.

As you can see, “What causes ice dams on homes?” is an easy and important question to answer. Now that you know the causes and solutions, you can prevent ice dams from wreaking havoc when winter comes around.