What is an Ice Dam and Can They Cause Damage?

When you live in a wintry climate like Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, you expose yourself to risks that homeowners in tropical paradises – we’re all looking at you, Florida – just don’t have to worry about. While ice can make your car slide across the roadways like a bear on skates, a blizzard can bury you alive – literally. When large amounts of snowfall do occur, it can eventually lead to thick bands of ice forming along the eaves of your home, also known as ice dams.

How Does an Ice Dam Form?

The first ingredient of an ice dam is snow. If snow has built up on your roof after a snowfall and the temperature of it is above freezing, the snow will start to melt and drip toward the roof’s edge. If the temperature outside is below freezing, the dripping melted snow will freeze along the edge and hold water back, forming an ice dam. Since every inch of accumulated snow on the roof insulates your attic more, which leads to more melted snow as a result of the heating effect, the worst ice dams often happen when a blizzard is followed by extremely cold temperatures.

How Does an Ice Dam Damage Your Home?

Ice dams cause millions of dollars in damages for homeowners every year. Some of the most common types of damage from an ice dam include:

  • Dislodged roof shingles
  • Sagging gutters
  • Water-stained ceilings
  • Peeling paint
  • Damaged plaster

How to Protect Your Home Against an Ice Dam?

The number-one way to protect your home against an ice dam is to keep your home’s entire roof cold. To accomplish this, you must block all air leaks that lead from the living space to the attic, which means increasing the thickness of the insulation on your attic’s floor and installing a vent system.

At Triangle Heating & Cooling, we understand how to help homeowners protect their property against damage from nature’s elements, and keep your home warm. Contact us today by calling (814) 355-7653 for more information

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