I couldn’t help but notice all the ice dams on houses as I drove to a meeting yesterday. With all of the snow we have had and more on the way there will be a lot of ice dams and water damage from them this year.
The dams are caused by melting snow on the roof and heat leaking out from the house. The snow at the edge of the roof turns to ice as it thaws and refreezes.
The water pools on the roof because the ice dam prevents it from rolling off the roof . . hence the term ‘dam’. It does not matter how new your roof is you can still take on water.
The best way to handle ice dams is to prevent them. There are companies that will remove ice dams and damage the roof at the same time . . . or not. Removing the snow from the roof will stop new dams from forming.
It isn’t just snow on the roof that causes ice dams. The University of Minnesota Extension web site has some great information about what causes ice dams and how to prevent them.