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Should You Worry About Ice Dams on Your Roof?

With winter weather approaching, snow and ice are likely to become major nuisances for everyone. However, homeowners and property owners in general should be careful to make sure that ice dams do not form on the roofs of their properties. But what exactly are ice dams, how can they be harmful, and what can you possibly do about them?

What Are Ice Dams?

Ice dams are ridges of ice that can form around the edges of roofs and gutters when it gets cold outside. They can often be identified due to the large icicles that tend to form and hang over the sides of roofs, which themselves can potentially be hazardous. As the name suggests, these “dams” prevent water from draining from your roof, which causes water to accumulate over time, resulting in potential damage to you or your home.

How Do Ice Dams Form?

Ice dams form on rooftops when snow falls on a building that has not been adequately insulated, resulting in an uneven distribution of heat across its surface. This causes the bottom layer of snow to melt while the top layer stays in place. If this snowmelt is not able to drain off the roof, it will accumulate in the gutters and along the edges of the roof, eventually refreezing into ice. This creates an ice dam, which further prevents drainage and potentially poses a risk to both the building and people around it.

What Makes Ice Dams Dangerous?

Ice dams can be potentially hazardous for several reasons. First and foremost, the ice dam poses a risk to the house and the people inside of it. Water that accumulates behind an ice dam can begin to leak into the building through the roof, causing damage to the roof and the structure underneath. In addition, accumulated ice can fracture and fall on top of people walking around the building, potentially injuring them. The longer an ice dam stays in place, the more likely it is to damage the building or harm a pedestrian walking under the edge of the building.

How Do You Clear Ice Dams?

The best way to deal with ice dams is to take preventative measures against them. Ensuring your home or property is properly insulated can prevent snow from melting in a way that is likely to form ice dams. In addition, clearing your gutters and rooftops periodically can allow water to drain more easily, preventing the accumulation of ice. However, if you are already dealing with an ice dam, the best solution is to simply use hot water to melt the ice and get it flowing again.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should seek out the personal injury lawyers at Zlotolow & Associates. Our seasoned New York personal injury attorneys bring more than two decades of trial experience to your case. We serve all five boroughs of New York City, as well as Nassau and Suffolk County. Our aggressive personal injury attorneys always demand maximum compensation. We have helped thousands of clients recover through settlements and courtroom verdicts. To schedule a consultation, you can call us at 866-800-0092, or you can visit our contact page.