Ice damming is caused when snow melts from the upper portion of the roof and then runs down to the edge of the roof, gutter, soffit area, this area of the roof usually remains cold enough (below freezing) to re-freeze the water and start the formation of the ice dam, in some cases icicles will also form along with or in place of the ice dam.
Ice damming is caused by heat escaping from the roof,inadequate upper floor insulation and lack of ventilation are contibuting factors and most likely the root cause of this problem. While heat tape and similar products may offer some level of relief from ice damming, they will not address the root cause of the problem and can be very expensive if installed by a contractor, money may be better spent in areas that address the root cause of the problem.
As long as your house was built adhering to building codes and your roof is in compliance with roof load specifications, a good amount of snow will be able to remain on the roof and disipate when the sun, wind and outside temperatures along with minimal heat loss from the roof allow it to do so naturally. You will always have some heat escaping through the roof, to much heat loss from the roof will almost always cause problems with ice damming, especially when we are having a winter with frequent snowfalls.
Look on the bright side, if it turns out to be a insulation problem and you decide to spend your money taking care of the root of the problem, you are sure to gain it back through savings in your heating and cooling bills. Do a little observation test of your own, something that you have probably never thought to look for will prove these causes to to be fact. Watch how that neighborhood unheated garage, maybe your own, handles the snow on the roof and does not have any problems with ice formation, or that vacant house that has not had the heat on for a while. These are some examples that you can most likely examine without ever leaving your home and will make you feel much more comfortable spending money to correct any issues that you may have in these areas.
If you are having an emergency situation where water is entering the home as a result of winter conditions and you suspect that ice damming may be the culprit, don't panic, we can help, there is a temporary fix that will stop the water from entering the home, channels have to be made in the problem areas, this will allow water to release from the roof to the gutter and or the ground. If you find yourself in this situation and in need of immeadiate assistance, call 419-517-6686, or simply click on the Level 1 Emergency button below.
Please Read, Emergency Services