Ice dam problems are always a symptom of other problems within a home.
If you have an ice dam now, multiple ice dams or other roof ice, there are likely multiple issues affecting your situation. And, believe it or not, your roof may have nothing to do with the problem – it may be an innocent bystander.
It’s important to understand your roof is part of a system including the roof itself, gutters, soffets, siding, ventilation and other systems within a home. How all of these parts of the system work will affect your heating and cooling bills and the life of your roof, if not a lot more.
With that said, certainly, roofs can wear out over time. However, if your roof requires repair or replacement pre-maturely, there is a good chance something within the system is not functioning correctly and has accelerated the aging process.
Ice Dam Insight
Ice dams are a function of warm roofs, often caused by poor ventilation, poor insulation, or unique situations such as skylights. Snow that melts on a warm roof runs down to gutters where it freezes. The ice buildup continues until the melted run-off backs up under the shingles and leaks into walls, attics, through ceilings and so on. The damage from an ice dam can be as little as a water stain or as significant as mold.
Ventilation & Insulation Check
One quick check is to go into your attic on a cold day and check the temperature. If the attic temperature is not about the same as it is outside (below freezing), there is a good chance there are issues with your ventilation, your insulation or both. In time, without correcting the situation, not only will you have recurring ice dams, you will probably “cook” your shingles in the summer from the inside, when your attic heat becomes excessive.
Roof problems can range from very simple to very complicated with multiple contributing factors. An ice dam is a symptom of a problem or a multiple problems. If you have an ice dam, call a qualified contractor such as Sims Exteriors to help remove the ice without harming the shingles.
Just as important, have them do a comprehensive examination of your roofing system to identify the actual problem.
The problem can multiple contributing factors including ventilation, soffet, gutter & drainage, siding, internal air quality (humidifiers, exhaust fans, etc.), and so on.
Ask for a detailed plan to correct any contributing factors to the ice dam. This is crucial because the root cause of roof problems, if not corrected, will allow problems to recur, shortening the life or you entire roof.
The professionals at Sims Exteriors and Sims Remodeling have helped homeowners avoid and correct ice dam problems with their homes and businesses for years. For an expert review of your situation, please call 608-825-4500 or email us, and or remodeling and exterior pros will meet you on site.