Ice Dams

Ice Dams, What are they and why should I care?

So what is an Ice Dam? Have you seen the frozen ice and icycles along the edge of your roof? That is an ice dam. They look like winter but can be very destructive. Ice Dams develop when snow near the ridge of the roof begins to melt and then refreezes towards the bottom of your roof where the decking is cooler. Once the dam forms as snow continues to melt higher up the water builds up behind the dam. From there it looks for other places to go such as under the shingles and decking material or into joints and walls. This is when the water damage starts.

It is cold outside so how does this happen? Why does the snow melt on one part of the roof and not along the lower edge? Your roof tends to be over an attic ie an open air space. So science class taught us that warm air rises and this holds true in your home. Most homes have air leaks between the living space and the attic. Warm air will leak from the home into the attic and continue to rise once in the attic. This creates a temperature difference from the ridge down to where the roof joins your walls and continues on to the eve. If the attic is not ventilated well and enough air escapes in to the attic the roof decking can actually be warmer then freezing at the ridge and below freezing at the eve. It doesn’t take much start the process and as it snows the insulating qualities of the snow actually exacerbates the condition.

If you see water damage or staining on the interior of your home or the underside of the roof decking looks wet it is time to call the professionals at Wet2Dry Solutions. Water damage can lead to structural damage, mold and mildew and possibly expensive repairs if left to continue.
We can give you advice on preventing Ice Dams, help with sealing up the air leaks into the attic and of course dry out and repair any kind of damage you have experienced. Give us a call at Wet2Dry Solutions 412-824-8400 or visit us on the web at

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