What You Need to Know About Ice Damming

You are probably familiar with ice since you live in Ottawa, but what about ice dams? Ice dams may not seem very frightening, but they can seriously harm your roof if they develop.

As your home’s first line of protection against the weather, your roof requires constant attention to ensure it is in good condition, especially during winter. The main issue with ice dams is that they may cause issues in the long run. They can be difficult to see when covered in a heavy layer of snow, and damage can happen right in front of your eyes.

Understanding the fundamentals of ice dams is vital if you want to avoid experiencing this. The good news is that we will go over everything you need to know, starting with an explanation of what ice dams are, how they form, how to get rid of them, and finally, how to avoid getting them again. 

What is an Ice Dam?

A buildup of ice that develops on a roof’s edge is known as an ice dam. The winter ice essentially builds a dam that prevents snowmelt and ice from properly draining through your gutters and out of your drains. You may have ice dams building on your roof if you observe big icicles growing on the gutters or corners of your home. The dam will then expand as more melted snow cascades from the roof.

What Causes Ice Dams?

Uneven surface temperatures on roofs cause ice dams.

Ice dams result from the interaction between a home’s heat loss, the snowpack, and the weather outside. Ice dams can only form when there is snow on the roof when temperatures are below freezing at lower surfaces and above freezing at higher areas of the roof’s exterior. These are the typical temperatures over extended intervals. The temperature outside must be below freezing for a part of the roof to be below freezing.

When the surface of a roof is above freezing, snow on it will melt. When the water on the roof reaches an area below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it freezes. The ice dam results from this.

The snow melting above the dam feeds it as it grows, but it will only extend to the parts of the roof where the average temperature is below 32 degrees. As a result, the water above pools behind the ice dam and continues to flow. The outside roof covering’s faults and gaps allow this water to enter the attic. It might come from the attic and seep through the insulation in the ceiling or outside walls, staining the finish on the ceiling.

Choose an Excellent Roofing Company

For an Ottawa homeowner, understanding the formation of ice dams is crucial knowledge. Ice dams on your roof are ideally never a problem, but you should be ready if they are.

Vanity Roofing Inc. is your best option for ice dam removal, whether you require immediate assistance this winter or you need to keep someone in mind if you or a neighbour’s property are ever affected by one.

For a free quote and prompt treatment, contact us right away!