Ice Dams: Can They Damage Your Roof?

Every winter in Pennsylvania is accompanied by strong winds and snow. Enough snow to cover your entire roof, which can be a love-hate relationship.  

The snow eventually melts and turns into ice dams, which may make your home look petty. While many of you see no issues with ice dams, they can actually be a threat to your roof.  

Below, we define what ice dams are, explain how damaging they can be to your roof, and the different alternatives you could take to prevent them from forming.  

What Are Ice Dams?  

Simply defined, ice dams are ridges of ice hanging along your roof. Furthermore, they most likely occur during winter after a snowstorm.  

When the heat in your home rises to your ceiling, the snow on your roof melts. Eventually, the water dripping reaches your eaves which is where the water slowly turns into ice dams, as it’s a colder region.  

How Can They Damage Your Roof?  

Surprisingly, ice dams can severely damage your roof in different ways. When melting, some water might seep through your attic which causes water damage such as mold and mildew. Additionally, that water could loosen your shingles.  

Then the extra weight added from the ice dams to your gutters could tear them off which would cause significant damage. 

How to Prevent Ice Dams? 

However, it’s not the end of the world. There are different alternatives you can do to prevent ice dams from forming along your roof.  

  • Clean Your Gutters: Keeping your gutters clean by removing any leaves and debris throughout the season is a great alternative to prevent any ice dams from forming as there will be space for the melting snow to drain.  
  • Buy a Snow Rake: Investing in a snow rake would allow you to remove the snow from your roof while standing on the ground and prevent any ice dams from forming as there would no longer be any snow on your roof.  
  • Ventilate Your Attic: Ensuring a proper flow of ventilation in your attic will prevent any damage usually caused by snow on your roofs such as water damage including moisture and mildew.  
  • Call a Professional: We highly recommend reaching out to a roofing professional to determine if your roof can handle the winter months.  

Pinnacle Exteriors is skilled at replacing roofs during winter months, which requires a different alternative due to the low climate.  

If you feel concerned about your roof, don’t hesitate to contact us. One of our roofing professionals will assess your roof and discuss the best option.