What are ice dams and why do the form? These are some of the most common questions that we hear during the winter months in Michigan. Ice dams themselves aren’t necessarily dangerous, but they can lead to roof damage if they are not taken care of. In this discussion, we will explain why ice dams form in Michigan and what you can do about them.
How Ice Dams Form
Ice dams are large sheets of ice that form along the edges of your roofline, usually just above the gutters. During warm parts of the day, the snow at the top of your roof begins to melt and travel down the shingles. This also happens when your attic gets warm and transfer heat underneath the snow. When the melted snow reaches the bottom of the roof, it may re-freeze and turn into ice. This is what creates the ice dam.
What Are The Dangers Of Ice Dams In Michigan?
As we mentioned before, ice dams themselves aren’t necessarily dangerous. They are just like icicles that hang off the edge of your roof. However, they can cause roof damage if the forming ice gets underneath the shingles. Ice dams can also be hazardous if they slide off the roof on a warm day. Rather than melting away and turning into water, the ice may fall down as a giant chunk. This could hurt someone walking near the building, or it could damage the gutters, trim, and more.
What To Do About Ice Dams
The best way to take care of ice dams is to prevent them from forming in the first place. One of the easiest ways to do that is to improve the insulation in your attic and underneath your roof. With a proper heat barrier, you can keep the roof cold in the winter so the snow does not melt and refreeze. This will double as an energy saver for your home because the heat will stay inside where it belongs.
Raking the snow off your roof can reduce the risk of ice dam formation because there is less snow melting as a whole. It’s important to use a good roof rake for this so you do not damage your roofing in the process. Try to keep up with roof raking just like you would shoveling snow on your driveway, and you can protect your roof all winter long.