Ice Dams and Roof Damage: Does Water Flow UpHill

Which Comes First, the Ice Dam, the Legislation of Gravity or an Unstable Roof?

Earlier than digging into the ideas of ice dams, contemplate this unusual Roof Installation phenomenon: Water typically flows uphill. It begins by backing up as a consequence of onerous wind or onerous ice. It accumulates till the ability of gravity forces a change in path. Then the rattling breaks. The implications could also be a trickle that may be corrected earlier than main structural harm accumulates. Then again, when water submits to gravity your roof could leak with an explosive affect that ends in nice and expensive destruction.

Ice dams do not actually make water move uphill, but it surely the backup forces the water to rise reasonably than move the top outcome is identical. Different roofing issues that trigger water to move uphill embrace clogged drains, gutters and downspouts.

Again in 2006, a Metrolina development firm encountered a significant leak concern in the course of the restoration of the native Albemarle Street IRS constructing. It began simply after a summer time gully washer dumped inches of rain throughout all areas of Mecklenburg County. In no quick time, crushing tales of flash floods, structural harm and leaky roofs dominated the information.

Subsequent morning when the development agency returned to the previous IRS venture, ceilings had been falling out, carpets had been drenched and insulation was ruined. Reasonably than mere drips, the in a single day leaks ran nearly repeatedly and with no signal of stopping. Restore prices mounted rapidly as did materials necessities.

In quest of the issue, work crews took to the roof. Water stood knee-deep on all of the decrease sides of the flat roof constructing. A number of roof drains had been fully clogged with fallen leaves, limbs and different supplies. The crew feared a whole collapse of the roof. Even with the collected backup, the water had forcibly discovered new methods for obeying the regulation of gravity.

Roofing Ideas For Dependable Prevention of Ice Dams

Having a sturdy roof is vital to house safety from rain and snow. The significance of unhampered water drainage can’t be overstressed. Discover ways to examine your roof for clogged drains, ice dams and different indicators of roof harm. Common inspections can defend your property from the hazards of rainfall, sleet and ice. Few issues can create as a lot harm as trapped roof water obeying the overwhelming regulation of gravity.

Though usually utilized in workplace and industrial development planning, flat roofs will not be customary on residential properties. Most of you may have asphalt shingled, wooden shake or steel roofs. In chilly snowy climate, ice dams are a typical downside.

In keeping with the College of Minnesota, the ridge of ice that accumulates on the fringe of your roof known as an ice dam (1). When an ice dam prevents melting present from draining off your roof, the water momentary flows uphill within the sense that it rises to the next bulk stage. Because of the clog, the water ultimately begins to seep, leak or explode into your property. The collected harm related to ice dams consists of:


  • Net attic insulation
  • Attainable electrical shorts
  • Collapsed ceiling tiles
  • Water stains
  • Ruined sheetrock
  • And extra.


Cease the water leaks. Forestall the uphill move of water. Do not threat the monetary losses related to ice dams, collected water and risky leak harm. Right know ice issues ASAP.

Even when main harm would not come, water beneath your roof shingles ends in long-term materials rot. Melting snow could not create a “technical” ice ridge, however trash within the gutter can accumulate with refreezing to end in blockage and poor roof drainage. If particles will get beneath your roof shingles, water could ultimately get there too.

Stopping the Harm

Within the occasion of recognized ice issues, take fast motion. Begin by cleansing the snow and ice off your roof. Use a roof rake or a push broom, however watch out to not harm the roofing supplies. If your property is already exhibiting indicators of water harm, contact your native roofing contractor. You want fast service.


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