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Do Ice Dams in the Winter Mean a Roofer in the Spring?

Most people do think they need a roofer after getting an ice dam, or they think the roofer they worked with in the past is solely responsible for the ice dam. If you share that concern, rest easy: Your roofer almost certainly didn’t cause your ice dams, and you don’t need to call him in the spring.  Of course, he alone can’t help you prevent them.

Ice dams have little to do with your roof itself. 99 times out of 100, ice dams form because of inadequate insulation and a lack of ventilation.  They form because the homeowner hasn’t had those little cracks and holes (AKA “attic bypasses”) sealed, which allow heat to float up into the attic.

Your roof is designed primarily to shed water, not to prevent ice dams.  I imagine that if you wake up to drips on your face, you’ve probably called your roofer already.  That’s his responsibility, of course.  But aside from that, your roofer’s only responsibility is to install the required amount of ice-and-water shield along the overhangs and in the valleys.  Those are the places where ice dams form and where water is most likely to leak through the shingles.

We’ve seen a few cases where an ice dam was indeed the roofer’s fault, but that’s rare.  Chances are your roofer had little or nothing to do with your roof vents, insulation, or leaky attic bypasses.  If your roofer wasn’t actually in your home to blow insulation, caulk up your outlets, etc., no need to call him.

Also, ice dams rarely damage your roof.  It’s the water that causes damage, and the water just goes right through your shingles and into your house.  They damage walls and ceilings, while leaving your roof intact.  The only thing that will damage your roof is a hack ice dam removal company.

So if it’s winter, there’s ice on your roof, and you’ve got a leak, don’t waste time calling a roofer – whether it’s to ask for help or to point the finger.  Your roof will almost certainly be fine, and your roofer can’t do anything about the ice dam.  Instead, call a professional ice dam removal guy to remove your ice dam(s) safely.

That’s how you’ll avoid bigger expenses in the spring.  By getting the ice dam removed, you’ll minimize or prevent leaks and water damage.

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