The 411 on Ice Dams


Expensive water doesn’t always come in a plastic bottle with a picture of a mountain on the bottle. In fact, some of the costliest water might be atop your house right now. Not sure if you’re the proud owner of said water? Here’s one way to tell: If you see a thick swath of ice running along the edge of your roof at the gutters, you’ve got it. Unfortunately, congratulations aren’t in order here. That pricey water you see is an ice dam.

OH! Pretty icicles! Prepare for water damage from ice dams like this!

Excessive Snow Melt

Simply put, ice dams are the product of excessive snowmelt that has frozen before it could drain through your gutters. The frozen snowmelt, or ice dam, then blocks proper drainage of future snowmelt. Typically the excessive snowmelt is caused by poor insulation in your home that allows interior heat to escape into the attic and through the roof. This through-the-roof heat loss can result in through-the-roof expenses. Why? Because water trapped by ice dams can seep under the shingles and into the house, damaging insulation, walls, ceiling, or all of the above. Repairs aren’t likely to come cheap.

But, hey, you’ve probably heard about ice dams. You live in Wisconsin! Well, it’s one thing to hear about them, one thing to see them on a house in your neighborhood, and quite another to get a look at the kind of damage they cause—and the bills they cause.

Like this:

Ice Dam_Frey

or this:

Ice Dam Damage

The Glaring Signs

Some of the signs are less glaring. These might include water stains on the sub-fascia or siding, peeling soffits, or infrared-detected heat loss in odd places on walls/ceilings.

You don’t necessarily need to wait for ice dams to know that you’re due for ice dam trouble. In fact, if there are areas on your roof where snow melts at a more rapid pace, this could signal a problem with insulation—the sort of problem that leads to ice dams.

How We Help

At Frey, we can help you with ice dams in a few ways:

(1)   Detect. We offer inspection of your roof, insulation, and venting as part of our 13-point no-obligation home-inspection service.

(2)   Prevent. We offer roof snow removal service. Get rid of heavy snow before it stands a chance of melting and morphing into an ice dam.

(3)   Repair. If your home has been damaged by an ice dam, we can repair most damage as well as get to the bottom of what’s causing the damming—and repair that, too.