What Are Ice Dams?

Ice dams can cause damage to your roof and home.
February 7, 2024

What Are Ice Dams? (and How Do They Damage Your Roof?)

Ice dams occur when snow on your roof melts and the water gets trapped in the eaves or gutters of your home. When the water freezes again, it can cause major damage to your home. Luckily, being proactive about roof and gutter inspections and maintenance, especially after heavy storms, can reduce your risk of ice damage and roof damage.

Clearing snow off your roof can help prevent ice dams from forming.

How Do Ice Dams Form?

Ice dams form when heat that collects in your attic warms your roof during a storm. The eaves do not get heated, and so as snow melts off the warm roof, it freezes on the cold eaves along the edge of the roof. This accumulation of ice forms a dam, causing melted snow from the roof to back up behind it. This water can then put pressure on your shingles or tiles and cause a leaky roof and water damage.

Do Ice Dams Cause Roof Damage?

Yes, when an ice dam forms, it can cause melted snow to back up under the shingles or tiles of your roof. The water then soaks into the sheathing and roof deck, causing water damage, roof rot, or mold and mildew growth. Water can also infiltrate your attic or insulation, cause roof leaks or flooding, and make your drywall damp. Ice dams that break off your roof can also damage your roof system, gutters, or anything else underneath.

Preventing Ice Dams

You can prevent ice dams by being consistent about maintaining your roof and gutters. Regular snow removal, improving attic insulation and ventilation, and inspecting your roof and gutters regularly can reduce the risk. A professional roofing contractor can assess the health and condition of your roof and recommend necessary roofing maintenance or repairs to prevent ice damage and roof damage.

Prevent Roof Damage in Northern Maryland

Don’t let ice cause roof damage to your home in Northern Maryland. Contact us at Harford Roofing & Exteriors and schedule a consultation or inspection with one of our experienced roofing contractors. We can assess your risks and offer practical solutions or provide roof repairs. Call us today at (443) 292-6020 for an onsite assessment, or request a quote online on our website.