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What to do about ice dams

An ice dam is a layer of ice that forms at the edge of the roof and prevents melting snow from draining off of the roof. This water can leak into the home, causing water damage to attics, walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. Once the water damage occurs, this can also lead to mold in your home.

Ice dams are often caused by heat loss from a house. If there is snow on the roof, the heat loss can cause the snow to melt and then refreeze, causing an ice dam to form. There does not need to be a lot of snow on your roof for an ice dam to occur and cause damage.

How can ServiceMaster help?
It’s important to call a professional to remove the ice dam when they occur. Trying to remove the ice dam on your own can be dangerous and can cause damage to your home.

We use a steam generator to gently melt the ice dam without damaging roof shingles. (Other companies, including some building contractors, will try to chip and chop the ice away which often causes significant and needless damage to the roof and shingles.) Then we can assess and remediate any water damage that has occurred in your home.

Remember: Just because the walls appear to be dry does not mean that behind the walls is dry as well. That is where mold can hide – mold begins to grow within 24-48 hours of when the water damage occurs. Mold cannot only affect the air quality in your home, but over time it can cause structural damage.

Signs of ice dams to look for:

  • Icicles forming on the edge of the roof
  • Ice coming through the soffit
  • Ice forming behind the gutters
  • Ice or water on an exterior wall
  • Water coming through the frame of a window or door
  • Water on an interior wall or ceiling that corresponds to one of the other signs above