It’s Ice Dam Season – An overview from Housemaster!

Ice Dam Overview
Often when homeowners experience water leakage and damage around exterior walls and ceilings during the winter months, they think they have a faulty roof, when actually the culprit is an ice dam. Ice dams are caused by melting snow that refreezes along the lower edge of a roof, blocking the run-off from subsequent snow-melt.


ice Dam

The heat within an attic that develops as a result of radiant heat from the sun or heat loss from the living areas of the house due to inadequate insulation is a contributing factor in the formation of ice dams. This heat typically rises to the higher points of the roof causing the snow cover to begin melting at those areas. As this melting snow runs down the roof surfaces below the snow, it contacts the colder areas of the roof along the edge or eave. Once it reaches this point, the cold roof surfaces cause the water to refreeze. The continuous freezing of the melting snow forms a noticeable dam of ice. As the water from the subsequent snow melt higher up on the roof arrives at the ice dam, it is blocked and begins backing up. Eventually it can seep in under the roofing materials, leaking through the roofing and sheathing into the attic and then to the living area where it causes stains and damage to the walls and ceilings below  (click this link for for the rest of the article

Thanks to Dave Cobosco for his article.

David M. Cobosco    DMC Inspections, LLC  dfba HouseMaster
Home Inspections, Done Right   409 Middlesex Turnpike  Billerica, MA 01821
Cell: 508-479-1773

If you should run into a problem with an ice dam, immediately call someone.  The damage created if not taken care of can be extensive

Joan Parcewski, Realtor      Woods Real Estate     c 978-376-3978     o 978262-8665  

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