Winter weather will soon be upon us, which means beautiful snow and icicles hanging from every rooftop. But all of that beautiful ice means damage to your roof and home. When ice dams occur, they can cause serious problems that end up taking its toll on your home and roof.


At J&J Roofing, our residential roofing experts can help you repair the damage caused by ice dams and prevent more damage from occurring. There are three keys to preventing damage from ice dams: insulation, ventilation, and properly installed roofing underlayment. We’ve put together this helpful guide to understanding how ice dams damage your home.


How Ice Dams Form

When the first heavy snow falls, the world is transformed into a winter wonderland. Those pretty icicles you see hanging from your roof can be a sign that an ice dam may have formed. Snow on the roof should melt slowly and naturally as the outside temperature increases. When warm air in your attic causes snow and ice on your roof to melt too quickly, the water runs down the cold eaves toward the gutters where it freezes. The ice causes a blockage that can send water back up and under your roof and cause damage to the attic, ceilings, and walls.


The main cause of ice dams is that there is not enough insulation in the attic along with improper ventilation. According to a 2015 study by the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA), roughly 90 percent of the homes in the U.S. are are under-insulated. Having proper insulation can aid in keeping warm air from escaping from your home’s lower levels into the attic space. An attic that is too warm will heat the roof, causing the snow and ice to melt faster and run into the gutters—but this isn’t a good thing. The melted snow and ice will quickly refreeze when temperatures drop, causing an ice dam in the gutter. The ice dam will send water back up and under your roof, and cause damage to the attic, ceilings, and walls. Therefore, adding better insulation can help retain heat at normal levels, preventing ice dams.


Ice Dams Cause Water Damage

All of that ice building can cause roof shingles to lift up, allowing more water to leak in. When water collects on your roof with no place to go, it can also become heavy and cause more significant damage to your roof.


If You Have an Ice Dam

If you have an ice dam that is causing damage to your home, it’s time to call a professional. The roofing professionals at J&J Roofing are familiar with ice dams and can advise you on the best solution.


These solutions may include:

●        Solutions to melt away the ice dam

●        Raking the snow off your roof

●        Breaking channels into the ice on the gutters to allow proper drainage


Keep in mind, these solutions are for the pros, and you should never attempt to unblock and ice dam or remove snow from the roof yourself. If not done properly, you could cause further damage to your roof and gutters. Also note, just knocking down icicle buildup is dangerous and won’t necessarily resolve the problem. Simply removing an ice dam won’t stop another ice dam from forming; prevention is key. Ice dams can damage your roof, cause leaks throughout your home, and leave you with serious damage. But with a little knowledge about proper attic insulation and ventilation, you can prevent ice dams.


Roseville, Michigan Roofing and Gutter Contracting Professionals

Before that cold Michigan winter blows in, prevent a problem so you don’t end with costly repairs. We can get your roof, gutters, and insulation in top shape to prevent ice dams from ever forming.


At J&J Roofing, our team of roofing professionals can help you get your home in shape for the coming winter. Give us a call to schedule an assessment of your home at 586-445-6455 or contact us online for a free quote.