The Cold, Hard Truth: How Ice Dams Can Be Dangerous for Chimneys

Anyone with a chimney knows that having a chimney comes with extra maintenance considerations. At Above All Chimney & Masonry, we have built a business upon a foundation of providing exceptional service to our customers so they can get the most out of their chimneys without all the extra headache. One of the biggest concerns for chimney owners is ice dams. 

What Are Ice Dams?

Ice dams are a common occurrence for Philadelphia-area homeowners with sloped roofs. Ice dams occur when snow compacts into snowpacks then melts and refreezes. The sheet of ice created is hazardous to the functionality of your chimney system. If you notice a large number of icicles on your roof, ice dams may also be an issue.

What Makes Ice Dams Dangerous?

First, it’s essential to determine whether your chimney is susceptible to ice dam damage. The location of your chimney is the most important factor in determining your chimney’s vulnerability. If your chimney is located on the top of the ridge of your roof, you are most likely safe from ice dam damage. Because ice dams occur when melting snow refreezes into sheets of ice, the corners and sloped sections of your roof are the most likely to incur damage from ice dams. 

Chimneys are also built with flashing and intricate masonry, both of which can be damaged by the continuous snow and ice build-up known as ice dams. In addition to flashing and masonry damage, ice dams are also a threat to your roof and gutters. If your roof’s flashing is already damaged and bent, it creates room for water to penetrate your roof’s underlayment. Similarly, if ice dams are left untreated in your gutters, the ice can warp your gutters as the ice expands and contracts. In extreme cases, gutters can fall right off your house due to ice dam damage. 

Don’t Delay on Ice Dam Treatment and Prevention

With regular chimney inspections, you can stay ahead of chimney damage. Professional chimney service will include checking the flashing around your chimney and assessing the existing masonry for damage. One of the best methods for preventing ice dams on your roof is insulating your attic. If you can bring your attic’s temperature to the rest of the house’s temperature, your home is less likely to suffer from excess ice build-up. If you’re already dealing with ice dam build-up, it’s a good idea to inquire about roof snow removal services.

For more information about ice dam treatment, prevention, and our other chimney services, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today

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