Ice dams, roof leaks and water damage | Indianapolis home remodeling


For those of us living in central Indiana, we know that our weather changes often, sometimes daily and even hourly!  So far this winter, we have seen a few unseasonably warm days, some rainy days, a bit of snow and lately, very cold temperatures!

As an Indianapolis area contractor, we receive a variety of service calls during all seasons.  In the spring and summer months, most calls concerning damage to homes is due to storms, mainly wind and hail damage.  However, in the winter months, it usually from snow and ice.  One of the biggest culprits of damage to our homes in the winter is snow dams.

ice damA snow dam is a mass of ice that usually forms at the bottom of a roof, most particularly the intersection of the bottom of the roof and the gutter. To learn more about ice dams, check out the University of Minnesota’s Housing  Technology extension article on Ice Dams. (Photo, right- University of Minnesota Housing Technology Extension)

In a nutshell, the ice dam forms and restricts the flow of melting snow above it.  This blockage forces the water back up underneath shingles and roof felt and enters the nearest penetration. Usually, this is our roof sheathing.  Once melting water enters our homes, it travels across our ceillings and presents itself as a wet spot.

Unfortunately, most do not notice the initial water spotting. During colder temperatures, the water is slow to thaw and water spots begin gradually. Usually, by the time you notice the spot, it’s fairly large!

Sometimes, ice dams just happen due to the conditions. Other times, ice dams can be a sign of inadequate air flow and insulation in our attics which lead to different temperatures on the underside of the roof.  If you find ice dams regularly on your home, give your favorite contractor a call and request an inspection of your roof and your attic.

Another important note is the presence of ice and water shield. Ice and Water shield is a rubberized roof membrane that adheres to the roof decking. Is a great defense against water leaks on roofs. It seals penetrations and even seals around nail heads.  Thankfully, most new roofs use ice and water shield to help prevent against ice dams.  If your home is getting close to needing new shingles, be sure that ice and water shield is installed in all roof valleys, up roof and wall intersections and along the bottoms of the roof.  The extra cost is minimal and worth having peace of mind that your home will stay dry.

If you have questions about your roof, or need a roof inspection in the Indianapolis area, give Gettum Home Exteriors a call at [dynamic_phone]

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