What Causes an Ice Dam?
Ice dams can be caused by a few different factors. You could be facing an ice dam risk with snow on the roof and fluctuating temperatures above and below freezing. Some circumstances are riskier than others.
Uniform temperature issues
One big issue is having a roof that is not uniform in its temperature. Once the roof warms up to above 32 degrees, the snow will begin to melt. However, it’s not uncommon for poor insulation to cause the higher parts of the roof to be warmer, whereas
the lower parts are still cold. That means that the snow and ice along the roofline and in the gutters may stay below 32 degrees. If this happens, you will probably get an ice dam.
The snow on the roof will start melting and flowing down off the sloped roof and then have nowhere to go when it hits the ice.
The best way to avoid this issue is to make sure that your roof is well insulated.
Ineffective gutter guards
Gutter guards, designed to block leaves and sticks from collecting in their gutters, don’t automatically cause ice dams.
But if they are ineffective, old, or poorly installed, there is reason to be concerned. That’s because weak gutter guards can buckle under the weight of ice and then prevent proper drainage through the gutters.