Winter in Michigan can be beautiful, turning the world into a frozen wonderland. There’s nothing quite like the beauty of snow-covered roofs lined with icicles, especially when the streets are filled with the magic of twinkling holiday lights. However, along with all of that snow and ice comes an insidious threat to residential roofs in the form of ice dams.

In this post from J&J Roofing in Minnesota, we’ll break down everything you need to know about protecting your roof from ice dams. Give us a call to schedule your regular roof maintenance and protect your roof from damage caused by ice dams.

Understanding Ice Dams

When the temperature outside drops in a cold Michigan winter, it can lead to ice dams. Ice dams are exactly what they sound like. They’re dams made of ice that form when snow and ice on your roof melt and refreeze at the edge of your roof and along its gutters. After a few freeze and thaw cycles, ice dams can begin to form. Ice dams are often caused by poor roof insulation.

Ice dams can damage your roof when they prevent water from running off your roof and down through your gutters, where it’s channeled away from your home. This water can back up onto your roof and get under your shingles and into the fascia, seeping into your home.

They Can Damage Your Insulation

Your insulation offers multiple benefits ranging from lowering your cooling and heating costs to reducing the wear and tear on your HVAC system. It also helps reduce noises in your home and insulates exterior sounds while at the same time promoting energy conservation.

Ice dams can be detrimental to the health of your insulation because it is typically exposed. Once the water makes its way inside, insulation can be ruined fast, resulting in higher energy costs and the need to invest in new materials.

Foster Harmful Mold and Mildew

If an ice dam has developed on your roof, it can leak inside the material and prompt mildew and mold growth which are known to cause respiratory issues and can be potentially dangerous. Mold and mildew can also affect any items in your attic space and ruin items like documents, furniture, and personal belongings that may be irreplaceable.

Create Structural Roof Damage

Ice dams are also notorious for causing damage to the roofing materials and structure. This is because they can tear off the flashing, loosen the shingles, and cause water to get stuck underneath them. Ice dams can also harm your gutters if it melts and refreezes inside your system, causing them to collapse or break.

Cause Damage to Your Walls and Ceiling

Once an ice dam has melted and pooled under the shingles, it can run down the rafters, framing, or exit through a wall or ceiling. So, suppose you find leaks or dripping water from your ceiling or walls. In that case, water stains developing or mold growth are key signs the structural integrity is in danger, and you need to call a professional immediately.

Ice Dams Don't Need a Lot of Snow to Develop

Even if most of the snow on your roof is melted, an ice dam can still form. While typically, it takes around six inches of snow and ice to accumulate, as little as one inch can be enough to get one started.

Tackling Ice Dams

The best approach to ice dams is to prevent them from forming to begin with. The key to preventing ice dams from forming is to make sure your insulation is up to the challenge of keeping heat inside your home where it belongs. The added benefit of an insulation upgrade is that you can expect a more comfortable home and more manageable energy bills.

It’s also important to make sure your roof is in good condition, which can prevent moisture from leaking in and damaging your home. We can also install a protective waterproof underlayment as an added layer of defense against ice dam damage.

Call our Macomb County Home Insulation Contractors

When it comes to ice dam protection, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. From insulation upgrades to waterproof underlayment, roof repair, and ventilation, we’ve got you covered at J&J Roofing.

For a contact-free online consultation, contact us online. Or, to schedule your home insulation services, give us a call at 586-445-6455 today.