Warning Signs of Imminent Ice Dams

When it comes to ice dams, prevention is always the best course of action. Ice dams cause a wide range of damage to your home including things like mold, mildew, damage to walls, ceilings, gutters, and more. It can even cause the attic insulation to get wet making it less effective and creating more ice damming problems.

Below are a few signs that your home may be at risk of developing ice dams.

Huge Icicles
Some people don’t even know you’re at risk for ice dams, though, until you’re looking at a beautiful display of gigantic icicles that could be a sign of future untold amounts of damage to the roof and walls of your home. In fact, icicles hanging along the line of your roof or your gutters is a sure sign that you may have ice dams.

Significant Snowfall
Even the best insulated and ventilated attics will struggle with copious amounts of snowfall on your roof. Additionally, heavy wet snow is more likely to result in ice dams that the light and powdery snow. When snow begins early in the season, like November into early December, it increases the risks of developing ice dams before the winter season is over.

Water Seeping Through Doorframes or Windows
In fact, any water penetrating the interior of your home is a bad sign as far as ice dams are concerned. If you see this sign, though, it’s actually an indication that you already have significant ice damming or residual damage (exposure) from previous ice dams that hasn’t yet been repaired.

Fluctuating Temperatures
If temperatures hover near freezing for several days while you have snow on your roof, it can cause major ice damming issues. This allows the snow to melt slowly while the temperatures are above freezing and then refreeze when they dip down lower creating the perfect storm for ice dams to form.

Ice Building Up in Your Gutters and Along the Roof
Even the smallest amount of ice in your gutters can do a lot of damage to the roof line of your home. Make sure your gutters are cleared out before the first freeze of winter, so they can drain well throughout the season.

Preventing ice dams is your first priority heading into the winter season. You do this by keeping your roof cold this winter. Make sure you have your gutters cleaned, check the insulation between your ceilings and your attic, and make sure to keep your attic properly ventilated with the installation and use of an attic fan and vents.