When our service techs are sent out to remove an ice dam the problem is resolved at that point. Additional snow, ice and rain
can recreate the problem in the same area or add to an existing build up in another area pushing the water up and under the
roofing far enough and long enough to create a new problem. In many cases there are additional problems discovered that
can’t be resolved at the time due to the snow & ice on the roof. Most of these problems are created by weather while other
problems could possibly be due to ventilation issues (insufficient amount, not installed properly or blocked off by snow/ice,
condensation in the attic) and the need for additional ice & water shield installation. The best way to prevent ice dams is to
clear 3 to 5 feet of your roof edges in problem areas after each snowfall. This may be a preventive maintenance plan to be
implemented by your associations to help avoid the formation of ice dams.
Other solutions include installing ice cables, heat tape, adding insulation, improving or clearing exhaust/intake ventilation and
removing roofing to install new or additional underlayment. We hope that this information will help you to better understand
this issue. Please call us if you require additional service support.
An ice dam is formed when heat from the interior space of the structure vents upward through the ceiling and
exits the roof causing the snow to melt. This melting snow then moves down the slope of the roof, coming in
contact with the cold unheated overhang section of the roof, where it accumulates to form an ice dam. Once this
ice is formed, water is then pushed back up the roof where it penetrates through seams, valleys and disturbed
shingles. As water enters through the seams, it saturates the insulation and inner wall cavities. This damage can
happen over several seasons before it is eventually observed or noticed through stained drywall and dripping. Ice
dams also become a danger to persons and property below. As the weather warms, blocks of ice can suddenly
release and fall to the ground. The weight of these ice blocks can be substantial and can cause severe damage.
Homeowners typically need to be concerned where their vehicles are parked, as well as decks and other exterior
amenities that can be severely damaged, destroyed-- or worse, someone can be seriously injured. These two
photos are excellent examples of typical ice dams.
This is the view from the ground when an Ice Dam is starting to form.
This is the view from the roof and cleary shows there is no path for the melting snow to follow.
Ice dams can form dangerous icicles and cause water ingress into buildings. The ice dams
form because melting snow and ice on a roof freeze when they reach the cold roof edge. The
ice forms a barrier and melted water accumulates behind this ice dam. Pooled water behind
the dam may leak into the building, causing water damage, or climb over the ice-filled gutter,
Raychem roof & gutter de-icing systems offer a better way to help prevent ice dams and
icicles. With its self-regulating heating cable, Raychem systems provide a continuous drain
path for melted ice and snow from the roof through the gutter and downspout. Versatile,
reliable, energy-saving, and cost-effective, these systems are the effective answer for roof
and gutter de-icing applications.