If you’re reading this, you are most likely wondering what exactly an ice dam is, how they happen, and what you can do to prevent them. Here at BEAR Water Restoration and Carpet Cleaning, we’ve got over 20 years serving the Mid-Michigan area, and we’ve all about keeping your home safe and comfortable during all seasons. Today, we’re going to take a look at ice dams, and hopefully clear up any questions that you may have.


What is an ice dam? The short version is that it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a chunk of ice that freezes on your roof and stops melting snow from dripping down to the ground or into your gutters like it’s supposed to. Rather than dripping down to the ground like it normally would, melted snow blocked by an ice dam can leak through your tiles into your insulation or walls.


Why do ice dams happen? Ice dams happen specifically when the lower end of your roof is colder than the higher end of your roof. If part of your roof is being heated from your home and gets the surface up to above freezing temperatures during the winter, it’ll melt the snow on top of it. When the water from the melted snow drips down to the part of your roof that is below freezing, it freezes back into ice and collects into an ice dam. Basically, when the surface temperature of your roof isn’t the same all the way across, you may be in danger of getting an ice dam.


While sometimes ice dams are no issue, especially in more recently built houses, in some homes ice dams can be very structurally dangerous. Luckily, there’s two pretty easy ways to make sure that your roof doesn’t fall victim to an ice dam. The first is to get the snow off of your roof. You can do this with a “roof rake” or a very long push broom. The second way to make sure that your roof doesn’t get an ice dam is to check your insulation and make sure that your surface temperatures are uniform across your whole roof.


If for any reason you do start to notice leaking from water buildup above an ice dam, or any other instances of the weather making its way into your home, give us a call here at Bear Water Restoration and Carpet Cleaning. Whether you’re in Midland, Saginaw, Bay City, Claire, Sanford, or the surrounding areas, we are on call for 24/7 emergency response and free estimates anytime. Michigan weather may never be predictable, but Bear is always dependable.