Melting snow, ice could lead to ice dams, cause water damage to homes

MIAMI VALLEY — While temperatures start to warm and the Miami Valley thaws out after last week’s snow and frigid temperatures, some homeowners may sustain some water damage from something called an ice dam.

An ice dam happens when snow on a roof melts from rising heat in your home or from the sun. That water the runs down the roof and freezes in the gutter, but the ice can build, filling the gutter and leading to an ice dam.

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“The water will actually freeze inside the gutter and then it just keeps building up and it gets full to where water can’t go anywhere,” said Jim Zugelder with All Star Roofing and Siding. “So once it freezes so much, when it starts to melt like when we have weather like we have today, it will melt uphill and actually water will go uphill because it’s all frozen solid in the gutter.”

He said if your roof isn’t sealed correctly with an ice and water shield under your shingles, water could get under your shingles and lead to water damage.

“That’s where you get your water spots on your drywall ceiling,” he said.

Knocking icicles off gutters isn’t a bad idea, he said, if it can be done safely, as it will help take some weight off the gutters.

If you do notice you have an ice dam, the best thing you can do is wait it out, he said.