Monday, February 15, 2010

Ice Dams

The weather report for yesterday called for more snow. 1 to 4 inches. We laugh at that amount these days so harden have we become to snow. In another year that might have sent us into our "Oh my God, snow is coming!" frenzy. No one hardly blinked at the forecast though. It turned out to be a bust, a false alarm and only got a dusting that melted quickly.

We still have over 2 feet of snow on the ground. Not much melting has occurred yet. What little that has, has resulted in ice dams on the roof of the house. Ice totally fills the gutters. This is what the roof line look s at the front of the house.

As you can see, the gutters are completely ice filled and has built up another 3 inches above the gutter line and formed an ice dam.

The ice dams block the melting snow (water) coming off the roof. There is no where for the water to go and this sometimes results in water getting in under the shingles and leaking into the house. Where this is the worse is in the back of the house which has a southern exposure and gets the most sun. Hence more melting. In particular, it seems to be the worse on a small overhang over the kitchen windows. To help ease the problem, I needed to get the snow off this overhang. The trouble is getting to the overhang. Our deck has 2 feet of snow on it. I had to literally shovel my way onto the deck. The one plus is we can now access the grill!

I got our step ladder out and proceeded to remove the snow off the overhang. I limited the snow removal to what I could reach from our deck. There was no way I was actually getting up on our roof and break my neck in the process. I also borrowed the neighbor's step ladder, which was taller then the on I own and that helped a lot. I got most of the snow off and it seemed to help although the gutters are still chock full of ice.

Unfortunately the damage was already done. Leaking has occurred in the kitchen area. It's pretty hideous looking and will require some patching and a few coats of ceiling paint to repair it all.

We're holding our breath hoping we don't get leaking in other areas of the house as it would be impossible to get on the roof (although professionals have been cruising the neighborhood offer to do it at, I'm sure, a premium price) to get the snow off and thereby getting rid of the source of the leaking water. Send some good thoughts our way.


darin said...

Im sorry to see that you have damage to your home already from the storms. If you want to permanently eliminate ice dams in the valleys and on the roof edge from forming causing leaks in your home check out It is the only proven system to solve ice dam issues and prevent costly damage.

Hillary said...

We had trouble with ice dams after the big storm in December and went to great lengths to try to stop them this time. A roof rake really helps get the snow off of the roof, but it can be hard to maneuver. We seem to have been mostly successful. There was a little leak around the living room window, but nothing like last time.

I'm sending you all of my "no leak" good wishes.

Frank said...

Thanks Hillary. So far the leaking is confined to what you can see in the picture although its still leaking. Just not spreading. I appreciate the good thoughts.

daughter #2 said...

Sad. You need to get orangatang style and protect your investment! wear your bike helmet... We have leaking in the ceiling of the kitchen at the farm house, but I think for different reasons. Whats your going rate to fix that ceiling? I know a guy... a tall, bearded, handsome, I could go on and on. anyway, he might fix it if the price is right. I can sense a bartering... dogfishhead outing...

オテモヤン said...


Nuri Rossignol said...

Seeing those ice dams can be pretty frustrating. Especially, with the knowledge that there might be a leak later when it starts to melt. Ugh, it's no fun at all when you feel that cold drip of water on your head. You want to fix your wet ceiling and damaged roof, but all that snow outside just makes things harder to do.