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Why Does My Roof Have Ice Dams?

ice dams

As a resident or business owner in Denver, Colorado, you are well aware of the type of weather that we get during the winter months. The cold temperatures, falling snow, and ice are all par for the course when it comes to life in Denver during the cold season.

Thankfully, your home or business protects you, your family, and your business property from these harsh temperatures and slippery snowfall. One of the primary lines of defense for your home or office is the roof of the building. As you travel around the Denver area in the middle of December, you will likely see other roofs of homes and businesses covered in a thick layer of snow and maybe some icicles or ice dams hanging from the roof edge.

Although that vision is fairly iconic when you think of the winter season, that snow and those icicles could be causing serious damage to your roof and everything that it protects on the inside. When you see icicles on the eaves, that is an indication that when the snow melts on the surface of the roof, it is getting caught in the gutter or on the edge and re-freezing. Snow melting and re-freezing is the primary way that ice dams can form.

At HotEdge, we are the world leader when it comes to manufacturing accredited roof ice melt systems. We know exactly how destructive ice dams can be to the roof deck, gutters, and interior of the home. It is critical that homeowners and business owners remove ice dams as soon as they form and invest in a roof ice melt product that prevents ice dam formation.

What Is an Ice Dam?

To begin, let us first define what an ice dam is. An ice dam is a thick buildup of frozen snowmelt that has gotten stuck at the edge of the roof. Without warm air rising from the interior attic ceiling and melting the snow, the water re-freezes at the edge and begins to accumulate. Eventually, it will accumulate so much that a wall of ice is created.

Preventing ice dams from forming is a critical step in-home or commercial roof maintenance because the results of an ice dam problem will be revealed once the spring thaw hits.

How Do Ice Dams Form?

The snow that accumulates on your roof is affected by its surroundings. The snow on the roof’s surface that is touching the roof shingles will be most affected by the air coming from a warm attic. This is especially true if your attic insulation is old or not as energy efficient as it could be and air leaks are prevalent.

As the warm air rises from the attic space, it begins to increase the roof temperature and melt the snow which is on the surface. This melted snow flows down the roof and begins to accumulate in the gutter or at the edge where the warmth from the house is no longer able to reach. It hits a re-freezing point, builds up at the eave, and will create ice dams. As more melted snow flows down, the building ice dam forms and continues to grow.

Why Is Ice Dam Removal So Important?

Removing existing ice dams is a critical step in roof maintenance for the residents and business owners of Colorado because you will see serious ice dam damage once the spring weather comes back. When you get rid of ice dams, you are working to prevent damage to the exterior walls and interior attic.

The melted snow which can no longer become part of the ice dam has a sneaky way of getting underneath the roof’s shingles and entering your home. You will no longer just have an air leakage problem but also water damage. The water may run down along the sides of the walls and into the insulation. When left long enough, the water can begin to form mold behind the walls.

On the exterior of the house or building, ice dams can damage the shingles themselves as well as other parts of the roof such as the soffit vents. When you see snow accumulating, it is critical to remove it before it has a chance to become a problem. Use a roof rake to get the snow removed – do not go up on a ladder when it is cold, snowy, and icy!

How Do I Prevent Ice Dams from Forming on My Roof Surface?

The best way to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof and causing any damage is to install a roof ice melt system that is designed to melt ice dams before they even form. Removing ice dams that have already formed is difficult and dangerous, especially for the homeowner or business owner, so it is a much better (and safer) idea to protect your property from ice dam problems before they start.

At HotEdge, our experts know how to fix ice dams but they are also well-versed in the rights methods of ice dam prevention. Ice damming can cause severe damage to the roof and the surroundings, so before the next heavy snowfall hits, invest in an ice melt system that is specially made for your roof system. Whether you have metal roofs, shingles, or wood shakes, the professionals at HotEdge can discuss options with you that are the best for your roof.

Contact Our Ice Dam Prevention Experts

Do you have problems with ice dams forming on your roof eaves? Have you already experienced the damage that ice dams can cause after the roof warms in the spring? To protect your entire roof and give you peace of mind during the next winter season, contact HotEdge.

Our systems will effectively work to prevent warmth from the attic to cause snow to melt on the surface and cold air re-freezing the water in the eaves. To protect your home or business, call HotEdge to learn about our accredited ice dam prevention methods and to have the right one installed on your roof.


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