Melting Snow and Ice Dams: How they Effect Your Roof

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Melting Snow and Ice Dams: How they Effect Your Roof

January 18, 2017 Blog 3

We have all experienced colder than normal winter weather this season.  Many locations which don’t normally get snow and ice have it this winter, and those who normally get the snow and ice have more than normal.  Winter weather can have a great impact on your roof!  Below is information about ice dams and melting snow.

Melting Snow–  If you do not have ice dams, you are not out of the clear as far as things to be concerned about when the snow melts.  As snow melts it gets heavier.  Depending on the amount of snow on the roof this could cause your roof to collapse. The heavy snow can also cause leaking issues for your roof, especially flat roofs where there the slope of the roof cannot aid in drainage.

How to fix the impact of melting snow on your roof?  Remove the snow from your roof after a heavy snowfall.  There are tools that are “roof rakes” you can purchase to help remove snow from a safe spot from the ground.  Do not attempt to shovel your roof.  It is not safe.

If melting snow is not dealt with properly it can cause an ice dam.

Ice Dams–  Just because you do not have snow, doesn’t mean that ice dams do not form.  The smallest of ice dams (from any amount of ice) can be detrimental to your roof.  Ice dams are just that, a dam made up of ice.  Ice buildup on the edge of your roof becomes a dam to hold back water from melting ice or snow.  Ice dams typically form over porches and the edges of your roof where there is no heat coming from your home.  These dams prevent proper drainage and runoff of water.  Water that is built up on a roof can cause pooling and therefore leaking.

How to fix ice dams?  You can apply some deicing mineral salt on the edge of the roof and once the ice melts take advantage of the time to use a snow rake and remove more snow to prevent future ice dams.  Do not use a pick or try to chip off ice as it can very well cause roof damage.

Uncomfortable removing snow or ice dams?  Locate a local roofing contractor who is set up to complete the task!


3 Responses

  1. I never realized how detrimental ice dams could be on my roof! My roof is old and needs to be re-shingled soon. I feel like if I had know about ice dams, I could’ve prevented a lot of the damage near the lip of the roof. This is definitely good knowledge to have and I will most likely tell my other family members.

    • lauraweldon05 says:

      Yes Bethany, ice dams are very detrimental! They can cause other issues besides damaging the shingles! Sometimes we don’t understand the extent to which roof and gutter issues can effect the whole house! Thanks for your comment!

  2. Alex Suschik says:

    This is valuable information, especially that the winter season is upon us again. Ice dams can really do a number on your roof as well as the interior of the home. Trust me, we’ve seen it all!

    Well done!

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