Well, I’ll be damned! It’s an Icicle and ice dam fest out there nwi. With all of this snow accumulation and long stretch of freezing temperatures ice is forming on homes bigtime! Mostly, along gutters, in roof valleys, and along the edge of rooftops. These large chunks of ice are called ice dams and can prevent melting snow on your roof to properly drain into your gutters, which can eventually cause major water damage to the interior of your home.
What causes ice dams?
Ice dams can be created by a combination of four things; inadequate attic insulation, inadequate attic ventilation, amount of snow covering on the roof, and exterior temperatures. Attics that are poorly insulated and/or ventilated are typically warm because the heat from lower levels tends to migrate upward(heat rises) into the attic space(due to poor insulation) and warms the attic air(poor ventilation causes heat to get trapped). The heat in the attic melts the snow from the underside of the roof causing water to run down the roof and re-freeze at the gutter forming an ice dam.
As this melting and refreezing process continues more melt-water can get trapped behind the ice dam!
Ice dam damage dammit!
1.Possible water damage to interior walls, insulation, structure, furnishings, roof sheathing, personal belongings
2.Possible Surface bio-growth(MOLD) formation under the roof
3.Possible buckling drywall tape and bubbling paint
4.Possible moisture stains on walls, ceilings
If you do not see any water damage on the inside of your home then it is okay to continue monitoring the walls and ceilings while you let the ice dams melt naturally. Removing snow from your roof with a snow rake can help limit further ice damming. However, it is important to use caution when removing snow and avoid damaging roof shingles, flashings, and roof vents. In addition, beware of large amounts of snow and ice falling quickly which can be very dangerous and even deadly.
Hiring a contractor to remove snow is an option but can get pricey. The average cost of rooftop snow removal is $600 for the first hour and $250 for each hour to follow. Some roofing contractors offer salt tablet placement on the roof to aid in melting the ice as well.
What not to do
Don’t climb ladders in icy conditions
Don’t walk on rooftops in icy conditions
Don’t knock massive ice dams down using force
Don’t turn up the heat in your house to melt snow
Don’t spray hot water on your roof
What to do
Please call Certified Home Inspections to have your attic inspected, which includes a complete thermal imaging scan(yes, just like the thermal imaging in the movie Predator) to help you properly diagnose the problem and to prevent this from happening in the future, dam it!