Ice dam roof leaks can be a homeowner's nightmare, and they're particularly common in colder regions like the Chicago area. When ice dams form on your roof, they can cause water damage to your home's interior. But don't worry; we've got you covered with everything you need to know.
Ice dams are like frozen roadblocks that form on your roof's edge. They start as thin layers of ice and snow. When the warmth from your home rises and melts the snow on your roof, it creates a frozen dam on the eaves.
Most roofs have plywood sheathing and a waterproof underlayment. The problem starts when thawing and freezing cycles result in the buildup of ice dams.
Here's how it happens:
Identifying water damage can be tricky because it can take some time to become obvious. Look out for these signs:
Ice dams cause roof leaks through a process that begins when the weather warms up. Here's how it happens:
Snow Melting: As the temperature rises, snow on your roof begins to melt.
Water Flow: The melted snow turns into water and flows down the roof towards the gutters, following the natural path of water drainage.
Blocked Flow: However, ice dams, which are thick layers of ice, block the path of this flowing water near the roof's edge.
Water Back-Up: With nowhere to go, the water backs up behind these ice dams, creating a pool of water on your roof.
Under the Shingles: The pool of water eventually finds its way under the roof shingles, usually on the lower edge of the roof.
Barrier Breach: If this water backs up high enough, it can breach the waterproof protective barrier underneath the shingles.
Leakage Begins: Once the waterproof barrier is breached, the water starts leaking into your house, causing damage to your ceilings, walls, and other interior structures.
Sometimes, despite your best prevention efforts, ice dam leaks can occur. Here's what to do:
To prevent ice dams, consider these tips:
An icicle is simply a measuring stick of heat loss. Icicle free homes have proper attic sealing Chicago and insulation. Icicles indicate heat escaping from your living space, cycling your high efficiency furnace. Avoid the problem by addressing the root cause.
Cleanup and restoration costs range from $1,500 to $5,000, with an average cost of $3,000. This does not include ice dam removal cost.
Call a water damage restoration company that specializes in ice dam cleanup and restoration.
If not addressed, ice dams can cause significant damage to your roof and interior.
It's safer to let trained professionals remove ice dams.
You can use a pair of pantyhose filled with ice melter to create channels for the backed-up water to drain.
If ice dam buildup is extensive, your efforts to remove them are unsuccessful, water damage inside is spreading rapidly, or you don't feel safe, call a professional.
If you need to know how to prevent your pipes from freezing asap, check out our simple guide on making sure your pipes don't freeze, let alone burst.
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