ice dams

In the late Fall of 2006 the roof on the addition to our house started to leak a little bit as we were heading out to church on a lovely Sabbath morning. "We'll check it out later when we get home," said the husband (and the wife agreed).

Three hours later we came home to a huge hole in the roof where the soggy drywall had fallen down onto the carpet and spread a mess everywhere. About six months later my hubby and our dear friend Stephen finally got up there and fixed things up (we had temporarily patched it through the Winter). They not only replaced the drywall, but they ripped the whole area out all the way to the sky. It needed to be done over completely.


When the initial damage had been done Geo climbed onto the roof to find the cause of the problem. "Ice dams," he said to me as I waited for him just inside the glass doors. Ice dams? I had no idea what he meant. But then he explained how the roof had been pitched too low years ago when the addition had been done, and because of that low pitch the water moved off too slowly, sometimes refreezing right at the edge of the roof line. This refreezing would cause a back up when more snow and melt and refreezing happened, etc, etc. So, essentially our roof had been pooling up for weeks with the early snow we had been getting. Who knew?

We have mentioned those ice dams here and there whenever we get snow. A few times over this Christmas break Geo has made the familiar climb to the roof to scrape it off so that the dams can't even get started. There is real wisdom to preventative action. We know they might return and we do everything we can to stop them.

There is always some kind of ice dam rearing its cold and nasty head, but my goal is chip it away before the pooling does more damage than it needs to. There's my metaphor. brrrrrr

10 comments

LisAway | December 31, 2008 at 12:19 AM

Oooo, good one! An evil that you can't see and, without knowledge and consiencious action destroys over time!

Good thing there's nothing like that in our lives. . . :)

April | December 31, 2008 at 12:25 AM

You had a metaphor AND you got to use a swear word!!! WOW!!!! Ok, I know it's not spelled the same way, but I will still be giddy about it!

Sounds like your house is as good as ours! Way to keep on top of it (no pun intended) and be positive about it!

Water is good outside and good inside when contained but never free-flowing through sheet rock! That's a no-no! Good luck with all the snow you've had! And if you hear me giggle, I'm just being immature. Just call me Peter Pan.

Luann | December 31, 2008 at 5:08 AM

Ice dams make a cool metaphor. Get it... ?

Well at least I amuse myself. :)

Heidi Ashworth | December 31, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Awesome! Love it! Too bad that so often the dam has to break something before we know about it. That's kind of where I am -full of dams but completely oblivious. I suspect I have a lot of chaos in my future (not to mention a session or two with a bar of lifeboy in my mouth).

yarell | December 31, 2008 at 2:47 PM

To continue the metaphor ...

It's sometimes a long (and expensive) process to fix the damage but afterwards it's always worth it to get the mess cleaned up.

May your new year be free of any hidden ice dams.

Linde | December 31, 2008 at 4:06 PM

Stuff like that is such a bummer--it is just one more thing that has to be done. Glad you got it fixed!

Heather of the EO | January 1, 2009 at 3:26 PM

And a smart metaphor of course! Good plan (preparing and preventing) for the New Year.

Happy New Year!

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel | January 2, 2009 at 1:40 AM

Beautiful metaphor. I wonder if my roof is about to fall on me for being oblivious to personal ice dams... You actually reminded me of a talk by President Kimball about a mighty tree that fell becasue of a small wedge deep in it's trunk, or something like that...I need to find that now and re-read it.

Graciesmom | January 5, 2009 at 7:15 PM

Wow....I learn something every time I visit your blog :)
Ice Dams, who would have thought?

John | January 23, 2009 at 11:48 PM

Ice dam is one of the big problem for all in cold season.Do you know any how to remove?

Let me give some tips.

1.proper insulation and ventilation is the key
2.In the attic scenario only the floor of the attic should be insulated, not the underside of the roof!
3.Outside air needs to be able to enter the attic so that the attic temperature is the same as the temperature outside.
You achieve this ventilation through the use of gable vents, soffit vents and a roof ridge vent.

Heated roof panels