All About Ice DamsIf you want to know all about ice dams when it comes to your gutter systems, a good place to start is at Alpine Gutters & Downspouts. We know that ice dams are a recurring problem for your gutters when the colder weather hits and that they can wreak havoc on your home if not attended to the right way.

So, what is an ice dam? It’s a barrier of ice that forms at the edge of a roof, usually at the gutters or soffit. When the ice dam forms, water backs up, creating another pool of water. This pool of water can leak into the house and cause damage to the insulation, walls, ceilings and just about everything else.

The reason for these ice dams is the escape of heat into the attic or roof. This heat builds up, eventually melting snow on the roof, which runs to the colder edge of the roof, forming an ice dam. Ventilation, insulation, solar orientation, tree coverage, architecture, snow cover, homeowner lifestyle and weather conditions all determine ice dam activity on the home. Every house is built and lived in differently, so don’t try to understand why your neighbor is having problems with ice dams, and you have none.

Of course, once you know all about ice dams, you will want to be proactive when noticing something unusual with your gutter. Be sure to call Alpine Gutters & Downspouts if you suspect an issue.

Ice dams can occur with or without snow on your roof, and you can’t always see ice dams from the ground. What you can do is inspect skylights and roof pan areas. Ice dams should always be removed with steam, not picks, axes or anything else that may cause severe damage that may be irreversible and costly. Ice dams as thin as one inch should also be removed. Don’t wait till it is extremely thick, or it will just be more work.

Another good point to mention is the more feet of overhang on your roof, generally, the higher the potential for significant ice dams forming will be. Overhangs are the only parts of your roof that don’t have any attic space underneath them, so this makes them susceptible because they are not being heated from underneath by your attic, which means the overhangs are cold.  This can lead to a larger, thicker ice dam than you would have had without gutters in place.

Remember, ice dams will usually occur on the lower edge of your roof, so be diligent and look around everywhere for suspicious behavior. Ice dams are easily avoidable if you are paying attention to them, but if you are ever in doubt, our professional and skilled gutter professionals at Alpine Gutters & Downspouts is just a phone call away. We know all about ice dams and can get the job done.

Don’t fret the chill of winter, but do remember to watch for ice dams and know when to call the experts and have them looked into. The last thing you need is to be repairing ice dam water damage!

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