Ice damming occurs when water freezes and accumulates at the edge of a roof. While this is a common sight for many homes during the winter, it’s actually an issue that could cause extensive damage if left unaddressed. To prevent the need for roof repairs this season, here’s what you should know about this wintertime issue. 

What to Know About Ice Dams

1. They Block Runoff Water

As their name suggests, ice dams create a damming effect and block water from flowing off the roof. Instead of having a clear path through your gutters and downspouts, water will have nowhere to go. Some of the melting snow will join the ice dam, but the rest of it may make its way through any small crevices in your roofing structure.    

2. They Can Cause Extensive Damage

roofing Fairfield OH

The primary damage ice dams will cause include torn gutters and downspouts, as the structures may buckle under the weight of the heavy ice. Yet, issues can extend far beyond your gutter system. For example, shingles may start to disintegrate due to prolonged exposure to moisture, warranting widespread roof repairs. 

The accumulation of ice and water can cause leaks in the attic, and mold and mildew will develop thereafter. In the worst-case scenario, homes may experience a full roof collapse due to the tremendous weight of ice and snow.

3. They Can Be Prevented

Ice dams that have already developed should be promptly removed. The task calls for professional help, however, as it can be dangerous to stand near or beneath falling ice. Professional steam removal is done using the right tools and practices for safe and effective removal. 

A better approach is to prevent ice dams from forming in the first place, however. Ice dams typically form because of factors such as poor attic insulation and lack of ventilation which cause snow to melt quickly on the roof. Addressing these issues can help to prevent damming during future winter storms.


Should you experience any roof issues this winter or thereafter, turn to Ray St. Clair Roofing Inc. for prompt attention. This family-owned and -operated company has served Fairfield, OH, for more than 60 years. Their team offers prompt and affordable roof repairs and installations, as well as solutions such as attic insulation and ventilation. Request an estimate online or by calling (513) 874-1234.