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Champaign Roofing: Article About Spotting Ice Dams

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In parts of the country where there is snowy weather, ice dams are one of the most common causes of water leaking through a roof. Ice dams are caused when snow on a roof melts because of the heat coming through from the attic below. Once melted, the slushy water flows down to the gutters, where there is no longer any heat from below, and then refreezes. This creates a dam that shoves water back up the roof, under the shingles and into the structure itself.

Gutters can be monitored from below to spot ice dams before they do damage. If the gutters appear to be clogged with ice from below, there is a good chance that ice dams exist. Gutters may also may be sagging from the weight of ice dams. On the roof of a structure, ripped up shingles can be another sign. Ice dams can be dislodged by hand before they do serious damage.

Champaign roofing professionals can recognize ice dams from the damage they cause.

A roofing expert from Roofs By Rodger of Champaign IL would be happy to answer any question you have about gutters or windows.

The most obvious sign of damage caused by ice dams is water stains on the ceiling of the attic or even on the ceiling on a room in a lower level of the home.

Peeling paint or crumbling plaster can indicate ice dams. This type of damage may not appear for months after the spring has come and the ice has melted.

A sign of ice dams that is less easy is to spot is wet insulation. Water from ice dams can get into attic insulation, starting near the outside walls. It can also soak into insulation in the wall cavities beneath the gutters.

When insulation is wet, it becomes less effective, and it costs more to heat the structure. Even after the insulation dries, it is still not as effective as it was. Cellulose insulation in particular loses its effectiveness when it is wet. Also, wet insulation can have an unpleasant odor.

Once attic insulation is wet and damaged, more heat gets into the attic from below. This makes the attic heat up and causes even more snow on the roof to melt and flow downwards where it is pushed back into the home by the dam. The whole process is a cycle that gets worse and worse. Once any of the many signs of ice dams are spotted, it's important to follow the water trail immediately to find where the leak is.

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