How Ice Dams Can Lead to a Disastrous Christmas

See those icicles hanging on the roofs of your home? They look whimsical and magical this holiday season! As temperatures change, though, they melt. When they do, they can be dangerous to your home.

What Is an Ice Dam?

One of the underrated problems in many Utah homes is an ice dam. It is the accumulation of ice at the edges of the roofs. Some of these may appear as hanging icicles.

This happens when snow falls, but then temperatures change. It can rise to 32 degrees Celsius. When this happens, the packed snow melts, resulting in running water. Roofs, however, have gutters and eaves. In these areas, the temperature might be different. It can be lower.

This colder temperature prevents water from falling to the ground or passing through the gutters. Instead, it transforms into ice again. While seasons remain the same, temperatures and weather don’t. They can vary from day to day. It can be chilly in Salt Lake City right now but sunny in the next few days. This cycle can go on and on, and so ice dams continue to build up.

In certain situations, ice dams can still form even when the skies are overcast. It usually happens when the attic doesn’t have excellent insulation. It means the heat that circulates in your house ends up in the attic and accumulates there. As it builds up, it heats the roof, changing its temperature. It only needs a slight fluctuation of temperature for the snow to melt and ice dams to form.

How Can Ice Dams Damage Your Home?

As soon as ice dams form, call a roofer in Salt Lake City as soon as you can. Otherwise, the consequences might be dire:

  • Damage to the gutter or the eaves – On the roof, you’ll find all sorts of things. Besides an ice dam, there’s still packed snow, some water, and even debris. Think of bird poop, leaves, and branches. These can be heavy for the gutter or the eaves to support. In the process, they break.
  • Roof leaks – Ice dams can come and go without professional intervention. It doesn’t mean it’s not doing anything to your home. Water can lead to the gradual corrosion and degradation of your roof. Leaks are possible later, and they can become more frequent.
  • Mold and mildew growth – There’s nothing that motivates mold and mildew to growthan high moisture. Water on the roof follows the principle of gravity. It will find a way to go down. If it’s not through the gutter, it can seep through the walls. It can gather on the nooks and crannies of the roofs.
  • Wood rot – It’s not only termites that can damage the wood. Water can do the same thing, especially since the material is porous. It absorbs water.

The holidays are all about being cozy. Sadly, those roof icicles don’t make your home warm. Instead, they put your structure in danger. If you don’t do anything about it, you’ll end up spending more for replacement or repair. As soon as you see them, get help.

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