Ice damming is an unfortunate occurrence during the winter when there is a combination of ice and snow, with warm temperatures on the roof. After a snowfall and the temperature warms, snow or ice on your roof, typically melts naturally, from the roof into the gutters, where the water drains. However, if your roof is especially warm, it can cause the snow to melt prematurely, Then, when it falls below freezing again, the water refreezes as it reaches the edge of the roof. This creates icicles that can damage the roof and even the inside your business property.
Here is the type of damage you should look out for and how to prevent ice damming.
Damage Caused by Ice Damming
Ice damming can cause extensive damage, simply from melted ice that re-freezes. Here are the most common types of damage to be aware of:
Water damage. As a whole, water damage is one of the bigger threats to your building. The water that sits on the roof can freeze, which then causes a shifting of the roofing shingles. When it freezes, water can get into your building structure, damaging everything from the walls to the flooring, not to mention your ceiling and attic (if your structure has one).
Ruined insulation. The insulation in your attic can not only be responsible for ice damming, but it may also get damaged further when ice dams form. This can cause insulation to get wet, which then compresses it and reduces its quality.
Mold and mildew. The water that gets into your building or your roof can cause mold and mildew very quickly. In many cases, you don’t realize there is mold on your roof or in your attic until you discover water damage from holes that the mold has caused in your building structure.
Soffit damage. The soffit on your roof’s edge is supposed to protect your home from excessive water damage, but when it gets damaged from ice damming, it can further increase damage to your building structure.
Landscaping damage. The area around your business building is also at risk from ice damming. The ice may melt partially or break off the roof and roof’s edge, which can then land on your plants and flowers and kill them. Larger icicles can drop onto tiles or other fragile elements that ruins part of your landscaping, not to mention injure a customer or employee.
Gutter damage. Since ice is so heavy, it can also cause major damage to your downspouts and gutters, loosening them and tearing them off of your building.
How to Prevent Ice Damming
Now that you know how much damage ice dams can cause, you want to work to prevent it. The best way to prevent ice damming on your building is to improve the insulation in your building. This includes insulation in the walls, and the attic if your building has one. Insulation helps to keep the building at a decent temperature regardless of the weather conditions outside, so it is not causing premature melting of the snow and ice on your roof. You should also get proper ventilation in your building that allows the moist, warm air to exit the building, instead of causing your roof to get too hot.
After working to prevent ice damming, make sure your business is protected with a property insurance policy.