ICE DAM PREVENTION FOR CHICAGO RESIDENTS
Although seeing icicles forming on your house can make a picturesque sight in winter, it actually is a warning sign that a disaster could occur. Icicles are a tell-tale sign that your property has an ice dam, but what does that mean? An ice dam is an ice build-up on the eaves of sloped roofs of heated buildings that results from melting snow under a snowpack reaching the eave and freezing there. Most property owners don’t even realize there is an ice dam until the damage is already done. Here we will talk about how an ice dam forms and steps you can take to prevent disaster at your properties.
FORMATION OF AN ICE DAM
Ice dams are common, but most homeowners don’t know how they form. The right conditions have to occur for the ice dam to form, but the main culprit is the nonuniform surface temperatures of the roof. Here are the steps it takes for ice dams to form:
- There must be snow on the roof.
- The snow on the higher portion of the roof must be above 32° F.
- The snow on the lower portion of the roof must be below 32° F.
- The snow on the higher portion of the roof will melt and run down into the lower portion, refreezing. This causes the ice dam to form.
- Ice dams will often cause the gutter and soffit to clog with ice, not letting water run off of the roof. This will force the water to leak through the roof or under the soffit.
Below is an image of a typical ice dam
HOW TO PREVENT ICE DAMS
There are certain actions a homeowner can take to prevent ice dams from occurring on their property.
- Keep the roof clear of snow.
- Take a snow rake and carefully pull snow from the roof.
- Keep gutters clear of debris.
- This will allow water run-off from snowmelt to drain through the proper route.
- Don’t turn the heat up too high.
- Heat rises, creating the right environment for more snow to melt and more potential water damage.
- Keep your attic area well insulated.
- This will trap the heat in the house where it belongs, instead of adding to the melting snow.
If you experience water damage to your home due to ice dams, ServiceMaster DSI is here to help 24/7/365. Give our restoration experts a call at 773-770-4512. We are here to restore peace of mind to Chicago area residents.