Freeze-thaw temperatures can cause ice dams to form for homeowners

With the recent transition from freezing to warmer temperatures, SGI is advising residents that the freeze-thaw cycle creates ideal conditions for condensation and the formation of ice dams.

Media Relations Manager for SGI, Tyler McMurchy provides some details on the ice dam construction process.

“Ice dams are caused by intermittent periods of melting and freezing. So the snow becomes a layer of insulation on your roof and then it warms the air in your attic. Your warm attic then melts the snow along the edge of the roof and once the melted snow is able to drain properly, it will refreeze when the temperature drops below freezing, possibly overnight, and then build up. with time.”

Throughout the winter, if this process is repeated, water will eventually seep under the shingles and into the attic, then seep into the insulation, causing stains on the ceiling and damaging the walls and the insulation.

If this problem is not fixed immediately, it can get worse and excess humidity in the house can lead to mold and respiratory problems.

McMurchy explains the most effective preventative method.

“Get that snow off your roof. We recommend that people invest in a roof rake and get some of that snow off the roof, especially the two to four feet near the edge of the roof. If you can remove some of that snow from the roof. of that excess snow, it allows water to hopefully drain off your roof and into the gutters away from the house. “

Long-term options for avoiding the creation of ice dams include making sure year-round that gutters are free of leaves, snow, and other obstructions that can prevent the water that snow gets from s. flow away from home.

Attics in the house require good insulation and ventilation. Without it, the heat inside the house will escape and melt the snow on the roof. Also, make sure that the flue pipes of the exhaust fans / air ducts that are vented into the attic are properly sealed and are not leaking air.

Signs of ice buildup include a row of ice cubes hanging from a gutter, indicating that the gutters are full and the water has nowhere to go. If the ice cubes are dark in color, it means that water has entered the house, picked up dirt and left it.

Plus, McMurchy says not all cold weather insurance policies include coverage for ice dams, and most don’t include coverage for issues with condensation in your home.

Here you will find further prevention tips.