After the big snows, ice dams can follow. A big buildup of snow means the potential for ice dams and damage to inside walls and ceilings.

Just what are ice dams?
They are a buildup of ice at the edge of the roof, the eaves, that prevents snowmelt from draining off the roof.
. Snow covering the roof traps heat from the house and creates a source of water.
. Snow melts unevenly, usually because of ventilation or insulation problems, and causes the roof over the attic to be warmer than the roof over the eaves.
. Ice builds up at the edge of the roof, clogging gutters and trapping water below the snow.
. With nowhere to drain, water seeps between the shingles and works its way back into the home.

Water is the problem, and icicles are just the tip of the iceberg. The root of the problem is freezing and thawing, and then freezing again.

Heat escaping into your attic leads to thawing. Water then runs down the roof to the unheated soffit and gutter area and refreezes. Snow acts as an insulator, melting the snow closest to the roof. There often is no heat at the roof’s edges and the water refreezes, resulting in a build-up of ice that fills gutters and eventually begins backing up — the formation of an ice dam.

Next time…..How to prevent ice dams