The unseasonably warm weather these past two months may make it seem like winter is still a ways away, but it’s here! As we get into some of our snowiest months, you may start to see icicles forming on your roof. This could be the first sign of an issue with the roof or the start of damage to your shingles.  

What Are Ice Dams 

Ice dams form when a roof isn’t insulated properly; the uneven radiation of warm air causes the snow on the uppermost part of the roof to melt and then refreeze by the time it reaches the bottom section of the roof. This process of melting and refreezing creates giant clumps of ice, called ice dams. The real damage occurs after the ice dam is formed and the water is stuck on the part of the roof that is still above freezing. The water has nowhere to go, so it is forced back up under the shingles of your roof where it causes damage. 

The damage this water causes affects both your roof and your home itself, and it isn’t always noticeable until the problem becomes serious. Common damage caused by ice dams include: 

  • Soggy insulation. When the water seeps underneath your roof, it can start dripping into the interior of your home. One result of this is wet insulation, making it less effective and allowing more hot air to escape your home. Wet insulation can also be a breeding ground for mold which can affect your family’s health. 
  • Ruined sheetrock and paint. Water does more than just bog down your insulation. It can drip down your walls, damaging your sheetrock and paint. Water can also get between wallpaper and sheetrock, forming water bubbles and creating an environment for mold to grow. 
  • Broken gutters and shingles. If the ice dams themselves grow too big, they can break free and fall to the ground, taking a section of your gutter and shingles down with them. This can make your roof’s sheathing and interior of your home even more susceptible to damage from the elements that the roof normally keeps out. 
  • Wet roof sheathing. Sheathing, the wood boards that your shingles are attached to, can also fall victim to ice dams. When it gets wet, sheathing can become home to mold and mildew. The wet wood starts to rot and has a harder time supporting the weight of your roof. If this occurs during an especially snowy winter, parts of your roof could collapse in on itself. 

Fixing Ice Dam Damage 

There are multiple ways to fix ice dam damage and prevent it in the future. If water leaked into your home, having it tested for mold and going through the mold remediation process will help improve your family’s health. Addressing your insulation will be necessary no matter how much damage you suffered since ice dams are caused by poor roof insulation. Whether you need to replace your current insulation or just need to add more, having evenly distributed insulation will help keep the warm air in your home instead of melting snow on the roof. 

If your roof and sheathing suffered the brunt of the ice dam damage, contact Robinson Construction Inc. We can replace your sheathing, repair your roof, and install new gutters. Even if you don’t notice any ice dam damage on your roof, it is still important to get it inspected by a professional. Professional roofers are trained to go onto roofs and spot damage that can’t be seen from the ground, will notice any water damage your roof suffered, and assist you in getting your roof back into shape. 

Call Robinson Construction Inc. to schedule your inspection today.