Why ice dams are so common in Moscow & Pullman

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If you look at your roof this winter you might see something like this photo above. This layer of ice at the edge of the roof is called an ice dam.

When an attic isn’t ventilated properly, heat builds up inside and warms the surface of the roof. The lowest edge of the roof, the eaves, are colder than the rest of the roof because they’re exposed to open air.

Snow on the upper roof melts, and when that water hits the cold edge of the roof it freezes and creates a “dam” that traps water behind it.

You end up with a pool of water sitting on top of the roof as water continues to flow down the roof and is trapped behind the ice dam.

Why is this an issue? It’s a problem because shingles are designed for water to flow downwards. Pooling water flows upward and underneath the shingles, which can lead to leaks.

Ice dams are very common here in Moscow & Pullman because of our mild winters. We have a lot of freezing and thawing which leads to more liquid water on your roof.

Even with proper ventilation, there’s a chance of ice dams forming because of this freezing and thawing process.

Water ran down between the gutter and fascia board before entering the soffit vent.

Water ran down between the gutter and fascia board before entering the soffit vent.

It continued down the vent and drained at the border with the siding.

It continued down the vent and drained at the border with the siding.

How can I protect my roof against damage from ice dams?

Roofs in our area should have a protective layer of material at the eaves of the roof called an ice and water shield.

Typically, the lowest 6 feet of your roof slope get this extra protection. All of our shingle roofs have ice and water shield installed at the eaves of the roof and along all the valleys.

If you’ve noticed ice dams on your roof or are concerned about the potential for leaks, you can schedule a free inspection in under 60 seconds through our site here.

Or, give us a call at (208) 301-6173 for a quick chat about your situation. We’re always happy to talk with homeowners in Moscow & Pullman!