Ice dams are ridges of ice that settle around the edge of your roof. This often happens when snow is allowed to build up and sit on your roof, and ice dams tend to get worse over time since any further melted snow that trickles down gets caught at the dam and freezes itself.
If you notice ice dams across the roof, it's probably a good idea to have the roof checked for damage. In fact, you might want to have the roof replaced with a material that deals better with snow build-up. Here are just four reasons to have your roof checked after air dams have built up.
1. Leaks Can Develop
Leaks are one of the most common issues associated with ice dams, which is no surprise considering ice dams are huge blocks of frozen water. When those dams get large enough, some water will melt and start to seep through gaps and under shingles. Unfortunately, most roofs are not watertight; they rely on water running off reasonable fast. When water is forced to sit, it can get into the insulation and then through to your ceilings and interior walls. Best to have the roof checked after ice dams are gone to ensure moisture hasn't penetrated.
2. Mould and Mildew
Even if no moisture gets to your insulation and into your property, it can still cause damage. When roofing is allowed to stay wet, mould and mildew can form. These nasties will rot away your roofing, impacting its structural integrity while creating unpleasant stains across the roofing surface. If any mould or mildew has developed, you need to have the roof looked at by a professional as soon as possible.
3. Structural Damage
Ice is extremely heavy. Even holding a block of it can test your muscles after a few minutes, so imagine how your roof feels after holding a larger ice dam for days at a time. Given the immense ongoing strain, it's possible your property's structure may be damaged. In fact, heavy ice dams have been known to create cave-ins.
4. Gutter Damage
Ice dams will eventually melt, but sometimes parts will fall away before that happens. Unfortunately, ice dams often freeze to gutters. When the ice falls away, the gutters can come with them. This is obviously bad for the guttering system, but it can also result in roofing damage where the gutters are forcefully pulled away.
For more information, contact your local roofing contractor.