Even if your roof was constructed with the perfect pitch for snow to slide on down the roof and is excellent condition, ice dams can form. The type of snowfall and how fast it falls can cause your roof to build up ice as well. Wetter snow that falls quickly and heavily will easily build up on your roof.
Snow consists of mostly air and depending on temperatures can be wetter or dryer. Wetter snow is already more compact and as it accumulates on the roof, it will turn to ice faster, accumulating faster.
Soon enough, there will be a ridge of ice on the roof that will create a blockage which causes a huge buildup of snow and ice on the rest of the roof. Freezing temperatures that fluctuate will make the matter worse, causing the snow to melt then refreeze again quickly.
Exposed nail holes, air getting up under shingles, or other damages to the roof will melt the snow and cause ice, which in turn builds more snow. The snow and ice can be removed, but the repairs on the roof also need to be made. If the issue isn’t properly fixed, the ice dam will come right back.
Your roof was at one time originally built to withstand a certain weight capacity. How much weight your roof can withstand depends on the requirements which were in effect at the time the roof was constructed.
Ice dams cause a block of ice along the roof edge, making any future snowfall accumulate instead of sliding down the roof. The accumulation can build up so high that the weight of the snow caves the roof in.
If your home is older, your roof may be weaker than newer homes. Building code requirements have increased over time, with material thicknesses that support your roof structure needing to be thicker than they once were, which means in general that the deck of older roofs are weaker than roofs built today.
The code authorities will change minimum requirements of building materials used in construction in order to better protect the homeowner from having a structure that is too weak. Your roof may be weaker or stronger than your relative’s or friend’s roof a few blocks away.
This is why it’s so imperative that if you have ice or snow building up on your roof, you get it removed right away.
Ice dams are often looked upon as a beautiful spectacle, and we agree, but we also know how damaging they are to the roof and how quickly they can cause the roof to cave in. While beautiful and awe inspiring, an ice dam waterfall is also very deadly.
Locally owned and operated Fort Collins roofing contractor