Icicles hanging off a residential roof in Burlington

How Ice Dams Impact Your Roof

Come winter—and leading into spring—the main cause of roof damage is ice damming. If left unattended, ice dams will ultimately result in a need for extensive repair work to your roof and possibly other places in your home. In Burlington and surrounding areas in Ontario, our long winters can wreak havoc on vulnerable roofs. Should your own home develop ice dams, be sure to take immediate action to avoid potentially disastrous results.


How Ice Dams Come to Be in the First Place
An unevenly heated roof is what ultimately leads to the formation of ice dams. As snow melts on the warmer patches of your roof, it trickles down to colder areas—typically closer to the eaves—and causes a sheet of ice to form. When even more snow melts, the resulting liquid gets trapped under this ice sheet. With each thaw and freeze cycle, the likelihood of water penetrating through shingles and ultimately into your home increases. The longer the cycle continues, the more extensive the damage is likely to be.

Types of Problems Caused by Ice Dams
As water penetrates your home’s envelope, an array of possible problems may occur. Some of these could include:


  • Rotted roof decking
  • Damaged walls, ceilings and floors, both interior and exterior
  • Decayed framing
  • Mould growth
  • Peeling and blistering of paint
  • Damaged insulation, which results in a home that’s more difficult to heat and further ice damming

Avoiding Ice Dams
Maintaining a consistent temperature across the entire span of your roof is the only way to prevent ice dams. However, achieving this may require any or all of the following three things.


  1. Increasing the amount of insulation in your attic.
  2. Improving the ventilation of your home by adding soffit vents.
  3. Sealing air leaks in your attic, around ducts, surrounding your chimney, and in other key areas.

When Ice Dams Occur
Icicles forming near the edge of your roof—but not from the gutter—are the primary indicator you have an ice dam. If you believe ice damming is occurring on your roof, it’s best to get a professional opinion as to how to proceed. Knowledgeable roofing contractors will be able to provide you with an assessment and a solution.

A Contractor You Can Rely On


In Burlington and St. Catharines, no other company can offer you the kind of know-how that Bosco Roofing provides. Our 60 years worth of experience and commitment to superior workmanship are head and shoulders above the rest. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or with any questions about our services.

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