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What is an Ice Dam and Do We Have to Worry About them in Charlotte?

December 12, 2016 at 10:10 AM

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If you’re not from up north, you may have never heard of an “ice dam.” In cold climates, they’re a fact of life during winter, and they can wreak havoc on house and home alike. But what are ice dams, and do homeowners in Charlotte need to worry about them?

What is an Ice Dam?
An ice dam is, in essence, a “dam” that forms along the roof, primarily in the valleys, and keeps water from flowing off the roof properly. Ice dams typically occur over several successive cycles of melting and re-freezing; the more cycles that occur, the more substantial the dam becomes over time.

Why are Ice Dams So Problematic?
Ice dams keep roofs and gutters from performing their primary purpose: moving water off and away from your house. When water can’t easily flow into your gutters then be funneled towards the ground, it can cause serious damage on your roof. Water that backs up will soak into crevices in your roof, rotting the standard underlayment, typically #15 felt, itself, and eventually making its way into your home’s attic space. This kind of water intrusion can lead to a serious moisture issue and/or leak inside your home. Occasionally, large ice dams break off or melt quickly, falling into – and damaging – the gutters themselves.

Do We Need to Worry About Ice Dams in Charlotte?
For the most part, ice dams aren’t a huge issue in the southeastern U.S., but they certainly do happen. It only takes a few days of melting and re-freezing temps for an ice dam to form, and we’ve experienced our fair share of unexpected ice storms here in Charlotte over the last few years! Even small ice dams can allow water to back up onto your roof; roofs that are aging and otherwise faulty are most susceptible to damage from ice dams and other winter weather.

Are you worried about whether your roof is prepared for winter? Even in Charlotte, it’s important to ensure your roof’s up to par before inclement weather sets in. H&S Roofing and Gutter Company is Charlotte’s experienced roofing company, in business for over 77 years.

Give our team a call today to set up your comprehensive roof inspection.



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Category: Commercial Roofing

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