An ice dam is ridge of ice that forms along the edge of a roof, creating a literal dam that prevents your roof from shedding water and snow. Ice dams can prevent snow from draining off of your Lancaster or Chester County home's roof as it melts. As the water rests at the edge of the ice dam it may leak through the roofing which can cause damage to your walls, insulation, ceilings, and more.
Ice dams occur only when three conditions are in place: snow cover, freezing outside temperatures, and heat being lost through the roof. The snow at the top of your roof will melt because of the heat escaping from your home. As it runs down the roof, it comes, once again, to freezing temperatures. When it refreezes, you're left with an ice dam.
Although the primary cause of melting snow is your home losing heat, it can also happen because of sunlight. And it doesn't need to suddenly get warm out. With temperatures as low as 14Â° F outdoors and 23Â° F in the attic, enough sunlight can be transmitted through six inches of snow to cause it to start melting on the roof.
Ice dams are hugely problematic because they can cause water to leak through your roofing, which in turn can cause a host of other issues:
All of these and more problems can have a huge negative effect on your Lancaster or Chester County home thanks to ice dams. So what can you do about it?
There are some things you can do to ensure ice dams never form in the first place:
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