How is an ice dam created?

Ice dams are created by snow loads on your roof melting and running to the gutter and freezing there, over and over until the ice pushes up under the shingles and then melts on the roof deck. The melting on the roof deck allows the water to enter your home and create damage in the attic, first floor ceilings and walls and all the way into the basement depending on how much snow you have on your roof to melt. As you can see in the diagram below how the cycle occurs.

How can I prevent an ice dam?

  • Be sure your gutters and downspouts are free and clear for water to flow out and away from your home.
  • Clear as much excess snow from the roof using a roof rake.
  • Be sure that your attic insulation is a proper levels and R factors to help maintain a consistent temp in the attic.
  • Be sure that you have proper ventilation in the attic. If you get a build-up of highly humid air it will condense on the cold interior of your homes roof deck, which can contribute to the water damage in your home.
  • Use gutter warming coils if you have them or de-icing coils on your roof.
  • Have ice and water shield installed under the shingles on your roof (when you need a new roof).

Remember— Never go up on the roof when covered with snow and ice as you don’t want to injure yourself or anyoneon the ground.

What should I do if I find an ice dam?

  • Remove as much ice and snow from the roof and gutters as possible either by hiring a professional or if you must do it yourself use a roof rake from the ground. Again, always use proper safety techniques! Your safety is priority one.
  • Put calcium chloride or ice melt into the gutters to open them up and get water flowing away. Do not use a torch to get the ice out of the gutter as the potential to start a fire is higher than the benefits derived from using this technique.
  • Take pictures and document the damage to the building and to any personal property that may have been affected. Never throw anything away without documentation!
  • Contact your insurance company to file a claim.
  • Contact a reputable restoration company, Accent Property Restoration, for immediate emergency service response. Making sure the building materials are property dried in a timely manner will be paramount to ensure you don’t get mold growth in your home.
  • Once the exterior cause has been removed and the building materials properly dried you can have the damage repaired.

Should you find yourself in this situation, call Accent Property Restoration for an immediate emergency response to mitigate the loss and repair the damage. Proper drying methods will prevent mold growth, so be sure to use a company that has been certified in water restoration techniques like our employees are. We can be reached 24/7/365 at 262-293-2646 or my cell 414-333-3727 to mobilize an emergency response crew asap!