Ask The Home Inspector !
Under Construction


ICE DAMMING

The following potential causes or evidence of ice damming were noted during your inspection. Ice dams are a build-up of ice, generally at the roof's edge, which allows water to back-up under the roof coverings, causing leakage.

Evidence of previous ice damming.
  • Roof covering/shingle damage caused by ice/snow removal.
  • Excessive wear of roof coverings/shingles at the roof edge.
  • Water stains or damage noted at soffits and exterior walls.
  • Water stains or damage noted at interior ceilings/walls.
  • Water stains or damage noted at roof sheathing/structure at roof edge, inside attic.
  • Specialized roof components have been installed to attempt to prevent ice damming leakage.
  • Heating cables have been installed at the roof.
  • Ice dams present during inspection.

Potential causes of ice damming.
  • Intricate roof design which may cause poor water drainage.
  • 1 1/2 story houses and townhouses are susceptible to ice damming.
  • Lower sloped/long sloped roof, allowing water time to freeze on roof.
  • Insufficient insulation/ventilation of attic/roof spaces can promote snow melt on roof.
  • Cathedral ceiling designs can reduce insulation or ventilation levels.
  • Inefficient window/door seals allow heat to escape, facilitating snow melt on the roof above those components.
  • Location of roof components (plumbing vents, skylights) may block/slow water drainage.
  • Changes in roof slope will slow water drainage promoting ice build-up.
  • Eavestrough downspouts discharging to lower roof can cause water back-up/leakage.
  • Dirty/clogged eavestrough gutters and downspouts will slow water drainage from roof.

Recommended course of action.
  • Your roof should be monitored closely for ice damming after heavy snowfalls.
  • Proper insulation, ventilation and good roof maintenance can help reduce the risk of ice dam build-up.
  • It is recommended that roof snow and ice build-up be removed to prevent leakage. This type of work should only be done by qualified professionals.