Watch out for icicle build up on gutters

They may look pretty hanging over the gutters and sparkling in the sun but be weery that unseen water damage is not being caused by these frozen wonders. 

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that builds up along the edge of a roof. The ice creates a dam that backs water up and under the roof shingles. Once the water is deep enough, it can penetrate the roofing system and creates water damage inside the home.

Ice dam problems are most common in snowbelt regions. To recognize an ice dam, look for a bulge of ice attached to the eaves or overhang of a roof. There may be icicles hanging from the edge, you may see stains on the siding and the rain gutters may be overflowing with ice.

Beneath the ice dam, undetectable damage may be occurring in the attic and wall cavities. The wood framing may be wet and rotting, the insulation may be soaked and mildew and mold may be growing in hidden spots.

To prevent ice dams, eliminate heat buildup in the attic space below the roof deck by improving insulation, stopping air "bypass" and increasing ventilation. The temperature in the attic space below the roofing should be nearly the same as the temperature outside. If you've noticed minor ice dam problems in recent years, monitor the problem.

Thank you to Robert Abbink, RHI from Global Property Inspections for this contribution.

To locate an GPI professional in your area, visit Global Property Inspections.

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