Mid-Atlantic Gutters & More
11860 Belair Road
Kingsville, MD 21087
In Business Since 1988


Ice Dams

Ice Dams

Winter weather brings more than annoying snow and ice build-up to keep off your driveways and sidewalks. If you aren’t careful, you could end up with ice dams on your roof.

These build-ups of ice and snow on your roof can, if left unchecked, cause serious damage to your roof’s shingles and its structure, leaving you with leaks and water damage.

Learn what causes ice dams and how to prevent them to protect your roof.

What Causes Ice Dams?

Ice dams begin with melting snow on the upper, warmer part of your roof. This melted snow flows down onto the colder eave and refreezes.

As the ice accumulates, it forms a blockage that prevents further snowmelt from flowing off the roof. At this point, the ice begins to back up under the roof shingles, where it melts again, soaking the roof sheathing, and leaking into the attic. There, it can soak into your insulation and may even leak through the ceiling drywall below.

Ultimately, ice dams occur when the space inside an attic along the underside of the roof deck is above the freezing point. This warm air heats the shingles and melts the snow.

How to Prevent Ice Dams

Most of the issues that lead to ice dams are because of improper or ineffective ventilation in your attic. This could be a result of a roof that needs replacing, improper insulation in your attic ceiling, or something that’s blocking a heat source and the air is routing to your attic.

If you notice ice dams building up on your roof during the winter, it’s best to have a professional investigate a potential cause so you can fix the problem before any damage occurs.

There are some other things you can do to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof, including:

  • Keep your gutters clean. Blocked gutters mean that snow melt cannot quickly flow off your roof. Keep your gutters clear to avoid backed-up water.
  • Use a rake after heavy snowfall. If you get a heavy snow, use a long-handled rake to remove the snow from at least the lower 4 feet of your roof’s edge. This can help prevent ice dams from forming.
  • Use calcium chloride or an ice-melt product. If you already have an ice dam forming, apply an ice-melt product to break up the ice and remove it from the roof.
  • Hire a professional. Some roofing professionals and exterior contractors offer ice dam removal services. Find one near you if dealing with your ice dam concerns you.

Roof Replacement Services in Maryland

At Mid-Atlantic Gutters & Roofing, we know how frustrating it can be do deal with ice dams. And it’s even worse if ice dams are left to ruin your roof! If you notice frequent ice dams, or you have damage from ice dams, our team can inspect your roof and recommend repairs or a replacement if necessary. Call today!

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