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Can Ice Dams Cause Roof Damage?

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Winter can be harsh on your roof. Frigid temperatures, high winds, heavy snow, and ice can all put a beating on your roof. One of the most common winter factors that can affect your home is roof ice dams. You may be wondering what are roof ice dams and can they cause damage? If so, how can you prevent them from forming?

Ice dams are thick ridges of solid ice that form along the edge of a roofline. Ice dams form when heavy snow on the roof begins to melt during the day, flows down to the eaves, and then refreezes overnight. Heat from within the home rises and warms the roof decking and shingles, melting the snow and causing it to flow down, where it meets the edge not warmed by the attic. Once it hits the cold edge, it refreezes, creating a rim or block of ice.

This pattern repeats and the rim grows, forming an ice dam. New snow melt is then trapped by the dam. The dam subsequently forces this trapped water back up under the shingles, where it can lead to roof rot and cause your roof to leak, causing exterior and interior damage to your home. Water can drip down through insulation and walls, peeling paint, damaging drywall, and create a mold and mildew problem. Additionally, the heavy weight of the ice can tear down gutters and cause soffit damage.

How To Prevent Roof Ice Dams


There are a few steps you can take to help prevent roof ice dams from forming and potentially damaging your roof, including:

  1. Keep Your Gutters Clear of Debris

Clear all leaves, sticks, and other debris from your gutters and downspouts. Keeping your gutters clear will help water from the melting ice flow through your gutters and through your downspouts.

  1. Rake Snowfall Off of Your Roof

Snow rakes are aluminum poles with telescoping handles so you can reach your roof from the ground. Using a lightweight roof rake, clear your roof of snow before it has an opportunity to melt in order to lessen the chance of ice buildup.

  1. Add Attic Insulation

The warm air rising from within the house and the cold air outside cause the thaw/freeze cycle that forms ice dams. Ensuring that your attic is properly insulated to help prevent heat loss can reduce the potential of roof ice dams forming.

  1. Ventilate Your Attic

A well-ventilated attic will keep cool air circulating instead of heat building up in your attic and warming your roof. You can install exhaust vents on top of your roof and attic vents along the eaves to help redirect airflow. Proper attic ventilation is key in helping prevent roof ice dams.

How A Kris Konstruction Roof Can Help

If your roof is leaking, Kris Konstruction can help. We will first come out and secure your roof to help prevent water from leaking further into your home. When we replace your roof, we will replace any damaged or rotted roof decking and we use only the industry’s top-rated materials to help ensure the durability and longevity of your new roof. This includes using a synthetic underlayment on every roof. Different from felt underlayment, which is not waterproof and is more prone to tearing, synthetic underlayment is a flexible, durable, waterproof, and UV-resistant covering that adheres to your roof to help reduce damage from wind and ice.

We will also install ridge vents to help ventilate your attic, providing further protection against roof ice dams forming in the future. In addition, we also provide a LIFETIME Labor Warranty that guarantees all work and craftsmanship that Kris Konstruction performed for as long as you own your home. This is in addition to the manufacturer’s product warranty, giving you peace of mind for as long as you own your home.

If you suspect your roof may be compromised, call Kris Konstruction today for a complimentary roof inspection. We will assess the condition of your roof and provide you with a comprehensive report along with digital photos.

Call 877-638-1803 to speak with one of our roofing specialists today! 

(Photo courtesy of the National Weather Service.)

Lifetime Labor Guarantee Kris Konstruction offers a full
Unconditional Labor Guarantee
with every home we remodel.
LEARN MORE *Some restrictions apply.
Lifetime Labor Guarantee Kris Konstruction offers a full Unconditional Labor Guarantee with every home we remodel. LEARN MORE *Some restrictions apply.
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