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Water Damage from Ice Dams in Bozeman, MT

Friday January 22, 2016 9:00 AM

Ice Dams can cause water to leak into the attic and living areas of your home or business. Ice dams form when heat from the interior of a roof warms snow on the outside of the roof. The snow runs down the roof and then turns to ice as the lower part of the roof cools. It then refreezes causing a "dam." Once the ice dam is created any additional water is forced up and under the shingles leading to water damage inside the building.

To avoid ice dams be sure to have proper insulation in your attic. Be especially careful to check around recessed can lighting, plumbing fixtures, and chimneys. Also, make sure rain gutters and downspouts are free of of leaves and debris and that they drain properly. Oftentimes, water freezes in the downspouts causing a backup.

While icicles can appear to be charming, they can be quite dangerous. Be sure to remove any icicles promptly to avoid potential injuries to innocent passersby.

Houses built after 2009 are required by code to have Ice and Water Shields under the shingles of a roof. This helps prevent ice dams. If a home is older and does not have these shields, ice melt or rock salt tossed on the roof can help melt a dam. Some professionals offer steaming to eliminate the dams, as well.

Do not climb on ladders or roofs to attempt to remove dams. The risk of injury is too great.