How is an ice dam built?
When a building’s roof has snow cover, the snow touching the roof could start melting for a variety of reasons. As that snow begins to melt and becomes water, it runs down the roof and begins to cool. When the water is cool enough, it freezes. This is the beginning of an ice dam. More snow melts and begins to build on top of the frozen area creating various sizes of ice dams.
How is an ice dam removed?
The safest way to remove an ice dam is to leave it to the professionals. Many accidents and even deaths have occurred while trying to remove ice dams. Professionals use steaming equipment to cut and melt the ice dam away. Some professionals use a form of sodium chloride, or salt, to melt the ice away. Because ice dam removal is expensive and ice dams can cause a lot of interior and exterior damage, ice dam prevention should be considered to protect your home.
What does an ice dam prevention involve?
Approximately 25 years ago, houses being built had new energy codes for more insulation, vapor barriers, and bypass sealing. Most earlier homes have attic bypasses. Attic bypasses are construction openings from carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and heating contractors that allow indoor air to escape to the attic.
House are under the law of positive pressure, meaning indoor air is going to press toward the exterior and escape through any opening that is available. You might not think you have any openings because from inside your home you cannot see them as your house is “finished.”