Ice dams are ice formations that happen on the edge of your roof. They form when ice forms in an area where it shouldn’t, like at the edge of a roof or gutter system. This ice then blocks water from draining off of your roof and before you know it, you have a big ice dam that has formed on the edge of your roof.
When ice dams form, you might notice that ice starts building up on the edge of your roof, and then ice will start to flow down your gutters. If there is a sharp change in the angle at which the ice meets water coming from an upper-level gutter, it can prevent ice from flowing successfully into a lower gutter. This ice in the upper gutter can then begin to build up and eventually a full ice dam will form.
Once ice dams have formed, they are incredibly dangerous when it comes to the amount of damage that an ice dam can cause when it forms on your roof. They pose a significant risk for roofs with older shingles as ice dam ice can cause the shingles to separate from the roof. Ice dams also pose a significant risk for ice back-up, which is when the ice starts pooling in your gutters and backs up under your eaves.
As you might imagine, ice dams are incredibly dangerous to your house – not just because of how they look but also because ice dams can lead to extensive water damage if ice backs up under your eaves.
If you notice ice forming on the edge of your roof, this is a sign that ice dams are developing and it needs to be addressed immediately. If ice begins building up in your gutters, get them cleared out before ice backup causes water damage to your house.