We have effective solutions to minimize water damage & prevent ice dams.
Our trained technicians can assess the damage an ice dam on your roof has caused and work with your insurance company to get all the problems fixed. Once the leaking has been stopped, we can explain what steps to take so the problem never happens again. The nice thing about ice dams is that they can be fixed, permanently!
The experts at Olneya Restoration Group of Greater Saint Louis can also repair damage caused by ice dams, including roof and gutter damage and water damage inside of your home. Contact us today at 314.432.6100 to schedule a free inspection in St. Charles, Florissant, Ballwin, Saint Louis and the surrounding areas of Missouri and Illinois.
The Cause of Ice Damming
Ice dams develop when heat escapes from your attic and begins to melt snow that has built up on your roof. The snow is melting from the bottom up, so you can’t see the water up there! As the water flows down the roof, it may refreeze when it passes over a cold expanse of roof. This typically happens at the eaves (the lowest edge of the roof) because eaves protrude beyond the wall of the house, making them less susceptible to the warming effects of heat leaks.
A large ridge of ice forms as water refreezes at the eave. The buildup of ice may extend over the gutter, but this ice is not what’s causing water to leak inside your home. The leaks are coming from water that has pooled behind the ice dam. Roofs are not designed to hold water, just to shed it. So when a pool of water sits on your roof, some of that water will find its way under shingles where it can drip through nail holes and sheathing joints. Once inside, the water will find its way into ceiling assemblies and walls. When they have become saturated, the water enters your house.
Why you should be concerned.
- Injuries from falling icicles. Icicles can cause serious injury if they break loose and fall on a person. This sometimes happens when a homeowner attempts to knock them off the house.
- Damaged gutters. A gutter weighed down by ice can break free of the eave and become a twisted mess.
- Broken roof shingles. Freezing and thawing of water can raise, crack and swell roof shingles shingles causing them to break and fail. Attempts to remove ice may also damage shingles. Ice damming can also damage roof sheathing.
- Wet, damaged insulation. Insulation looses it ability to resist heat flow once it has become soaked with water due to an ice dam leak. As insulation becomes ineffective, the frequency of ice dams grows.
- Interior water damage. Ice dams can cause damage that ranges from stained walls and ceilings to ruined carpets, floors and furnishings. Left unattended, water-soaked materials can quickly begin to grown mold.
- Short out electrical circuits, causing circuit breakers to trip and fuses to blow.
Ice Damming Solutions
Usually the results and damage associated with ice dams forming along eaves are interior water damage and ruined insulation.
If you’re replacing your roof, a rubber membrane can be installed under the shingles on the lower three feet of your roof, preventing water from backing up and entering your home.
Another way to prevent ice damming from occurring on your home, is to remove as much snow as possible from the roof. This entails the risky work of climbing onto the roof and shoveling the snow off a slippery and angled surface. A safer approach is to rake snow from the roof using long-handled snow rakes.
If ice dams have already formed and water begins coming into the house, Olneya Restoration Group can provide emergency ice dam repairs to minimize water damage. We can also remove moisture-damaged materials, such as carpeting and wallboard.
For a long-term solution to ice damming, we will air seal large air leaks and upgrade insulation materials where necessary. This will enable your attic to maintain a cold enough temperature that snow on the shingles and rooftop won’t melt and form ice dams. Without melting snow on cold days, the likelihood of ice dams is eliminated. Snow will melt naturally on the next warm day and drain down the roof harmlessly.
- Make sure soffit vents are not blocked by insulation. A well-ventilated attic is a cold attic, and a cold attic will not support the formation of ice dams.
- Keep gutters clear of leaves. A clogged gutter causes ice and snow to build up, which may, in turn, cause snow and ice buildup along your eaves.
- Install snow and ice slides on affected eaves. The slick metal allows snow to slide off the roof before it can melt and spawn an ice dam.
- Remove snow accumulation from the first two or three feet of your eaves using a snow rake. It is often best to call in a contractor for this task.