Why Ice Dams Can Be a Hazard to Your Roof

Winter is here, and with it is icy cold weather. This means homeowners should be aware of the dangers associated with this type of weather. Ice dams are common this time of year and can pose issues for your roof. Ice dams occur when ice builds up on the edge of your roof, creating a barrier that can prevent water from properly draining into your gutters and away from the house. When excessive moisture starts to build up, it can cause water damage to your roof, resulting in water leaks. These leaks can eventually lead to water damage in your home. Even if you don’t experience flooding or any visible water damage, the threat of mold can become a serious health hazard. Here are a few things you should know.

What Causes an Ice Dam To Form?

These barriers form when the temperature of your roof is at an uneven temperature. The temperature at the higher levels of your roof will be above freezing, while the lower levels (closer to the gutters) will be below freezing. As the snow melts above and flows downward, it freezes, forming a dam. Any additional water from melting snow will back-up onto the roof.


The best way to prevent dams from building up and to avoid flooding is to control the roof temperature. You can do this by:

- Plugging warm air leaks in your attic. This will prevent the roof from warming up.

- Adequate attic ventilation that will draw in cold outside air and flush out the warmer air inside.

- Rake the snow off your roof after a heavy snowfall to help avoid flooding when the snow melts.

Another danger during this time of year is the formation of icicles. Icicles may be appealing to look at, but they are incredibly dangerous. As the temperatures warm up, they can loosen and fall from the roof. Anyone standing underneath when they fall can be seriously hurt. It is important to take precautions to prevent ice dams and icicles from forming.

If you do get a dam buildup on your roof that causes any type of damage, you need to get that damage repaired quickly to prevent mold growth and further issues within your home. Reach out to the experts at American Restoration. We specialize in flood restoration and will get your house back to normal in no time!

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Albuquerque, NM 87107

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Artesia, NM 88210

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Ruidoso, NM 88345


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