Have you noticed icicles hanging off your eaves? There's a chance that an ice dam is underneath the accumulated snow on your roof and is causing some serious damage. Check out our home exterior tips on ice dams to help you identify problems, fix issues, or to determine if you need to contact a professional.
1. GORGEOUS BUT PROBLEMATIC. Icicles are beautiful, but it's also a homeowner's tell-tale sign for underlying issues. If you have icicles hanging off your eaves, it may be an indication for poor attic insulation and... the infamous ICE DAM.
2. WHAT ARE ICE DAMS? An ice dam is a ridge of ice that form at the edge of a roof and prevents melted snow (water) from draining off the roof. Water then backs up behind the dam which can cause damage to the roof, ceiling, insulation, and other areas of your home.
3. HOW DO ICE DAMS OCCUR? Ice dams occur when hot air becomes trapped in your attic or crawl space and heats up your roof. The snow that has accumulated on your roof will melt, travel down the slope, and re-freeze once it reaches the edge causing an ice dam. This will force melted water up and underneath your roof covering.
4. PREVENTION IS KEY, FIXES ARE NECESSARY. Spring and summer is a great time to check the interior and exterior of your home for any signs of wear, damage or leaks before it becomes a problem. If you are experiencing any leaks during the winter and suspect that it's due to an ice dam, call a professional to help determine the severity of the issue.
5. HOW TO TAKE CARE OF AN ICE DAM THE RIGHT WAY. Remove the snow before it has a chance to melt with a snow rake designed to carefully pull snow off your roof. DON'T BEAT THE ICE DAM OFF WITH A HAMMER! This will damage your shingles. You can also use ice melt to de-ice your roof, but it isn't the most environmentally friendly option.
6. ASK YOUR NEIGHBORS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS. If your issue requires more work than you're able to do correctly and safely, it's time to call a professional. Leaks, poor ventilation and insulation, and other issues can cause more damage to your home.