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Denver Roofing Specialist: How to Prevent and Remove Ice Dams From Your Roof


February 14, 2018

Winter is finally here, and whether you like the season or not, in the Denver area we always see snow and ice. Ice can be extremely dangerous to your home, particularly your roof. Ice dams are a winter roofing problem caused by a combination of a poor attic or poor roof ventilation. If you have a warm attic space, your roof is prone to ice dams as well. Ice dams can also be caused by not properly draining your gutter system and letting it clog up with leaves and debris from the fall.

If ice dams start to form and you let them be, you’re allowing them to become turbulent to your home’s structure. Ice dams can cause damage to not only your roof and gutters, but also your paint, insulation, and interior drywall. If you notice that your home is starting to form ice dams, the typical way to prevent them is to improve your home’s ventilation and insulation, and removing any type of heat source from your attic (if you have one).

What Causes Ice Dams?

We briefly touched on this, but now we can go into more detail on the actual ice dam process. After snow accumulates on your roof, ice dams will start to form as the snow melts on the upper-most, warm part of your roof. That melted snow and water will run down towards a cold eave, thus freezing and turning into ice. As the ice builds up, it will start to get under the roof shingles, soaking the roof’s sheathing, and eventually leaking into your attic. From there, your insulation will soak up the water, making it not only less effective at keeping your house warm, but also will leak through your ceiling and drywall into your living space of your home. If an ice dam becomes really large, it’s going to become extremely heavy and cause damage to your gutters.

Even if it’s freezing temperatures outside, you can still accumulate ice dams. Snow melts on your roof because the space under the roof (your attic) is above 32 degrees Fahrenheit and will warm the roof’s surface to where snow will actually melt. Snow actually possesses insulating properties, so ice dams can become worse after a heavy snow.

If you notice ice dams starting to form on your roof, or just simply know that they’ve formed before, it’s important to get a specialist out to look at them before another snowy winter. Roofing specialists can determine what’s causing those ice dams, and even fix the damage previous ones have left behind so your home will remain warm and dry for winters to come. Call The Roof Dr. today to speak with a roofing specialist for the Denver area.