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Ice Dam Removal, Prevention | 703-475-2446 | Roofer 911

by Roofer911 - 10 Comments

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It may surprise you to hear that approximately 95 percent of all roofing contractors throughout the country do not know the correct procedures for stopping and preventing ice dam problems permanently. This is one of the most common

ice dam
ice and water shield fastened to wood fascia

roof repair services performed, and since so many contractors are doing it improperly, a great number of homeowners will suffer ice dam leaks repeatedly. In fact, contractors who improperly install insulation and ventilation within the home's attic space account for the majority of ice dam leaks. Sometimes homeowners have very little insulation or ventilation and don't even know it.

Ice dam leaks cause serious damage and also the potential for black mold growth if they are not caught and taken care of right away. In order to prevent ice dam leaks and keep the roof in good shape for as long as possible, it is necessary to properly apply insulation in the attic to prevent warm air from rising up from the living space below. Likewise, roofing companies should make sure the attic stays equivalent to the temperature as the outdoors during the cold winter months by installing intake vents to let in the cold air and a ridge vent to let out the warm air.

Experienced roofers know that ice dam leaks most commonly occur around the tops of windows (see picture 1). In order to prevent water damage to all levels of the home and possible roof replacement, roofing contractors must stop ice dams permanently rather than just providing a temporary solution. Simply removing the snow does nothing to solve the problem, and removing the gutter will only solve the problem temporarily until it snows again.

Necessary Roofer911 steps to permanently prevent ice dam leaks:

1. Carefully remove as much ice as possible from the inside of the gutter that is located above the water leak. There will most likely be alot of ice in the gutter and some ice along the outside wall, which is probably melting into the walls and seeping out through the vinyl siding interlocking joints.  The real problem is inside the wall cavity, so there's no point removing the ice from the outside wall.

2. Install Ice and Water Shield to the roof deck along the entire length of the gutter underneath the roof shingles, approximately 32" up from the gutter, and then overlap fascia by 4" (see picture 2).

3. Staple the overlapping Ice and Water Shield to the wood fascia.

4. Secure the gutter back in place, making sure to penetrate the rafters behind the fascia and properly pitch to insure a positive water flow to the outlet.

By following these four basic steps, roofing companies can ensure they are doing the very best possible service for their customers. With this type of application by Roofer911 with Ice and Water Shield, the roofing nails will be sealed around that hold the roof shingles into place. Also very important, water can no longer travel through the sides of the gutter spikes and/or screws (see picture 3) that hold the gutter into place and into the house where it can do incredible amounts of damage. By performing this properly one time, homeowners and their contractors can prevent similar roof repairs in the future and can keep the roofing system and home in good working order. If you want to prevent ice dam leaks and serious damage to your home, requiring roof replacement or expensive basement reconstruction, it is necessary to make sure your contractor follows these basic steps when ice dam leaks occur.


Infrared Leak Detection SEES Water Damage from Ice Dam

The procedues as shown above were performed to prevent this home from having further ice dam leaks

Ice dam leak from snow and iceIce and water inside wall from ice dam  

Small ice dam in the gutter and valley has caused thousands of dollars worth of interior damage to ceilings, walls and floors.

This picture shows water leaking along the top of the ceiling and also inside the exterior wall cavity behind the big screen TV.

Ice dam build-up in the gutter (60 linear feet) is causing water to leak inside the exterior wall cavity and settle underneath the wood floors.

Ice dam on outside wallNo insulation covering wall plate or wind baffles installedwet insulation and ice inside wall from ice dam  

Not only is ice on the outside of this wall but also on the inside from the ice dam above as seen in the picture to the far right.

Insulation is not covering the wall plate inside the attic along with having no wind baffle/rafter chute installed. 

This infrared picture shows ice and wet insulation inside the  exterior wall from ice dam build-up in the gutter above. 


























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10 Responses to "Ice Dam Removal, Prevention | 703-475-2446 | Roofer 911"

Karen M. says:
June 4, 2010 at 7:06 PM

Until a couple weeks ago, I had never even heard of an ice dam or the extensive water damage it can cause to one’s home. Thanks to Steve Briesemeister, owner of Roofer 911, I got my problem fixed quickly, ultimately saved thousands of dollars for both myself and my homeowner’s insurance company, and avoided the potential health hazards from black mold.

This was my scenario:

Following the severe snow and ice storms in the area earlier this year, my townhome sustained severe water damage. My homeowner’s insurance company authorized necessary repairs to the drywall and hardwood flooring, but because the human eye cannot see through drywall there was no way the adjuster or I were aware of underlying damage to the insulation and roof caused by an ice dam. Therefore, I proceeded with repairs but was uneasy as any roof-related problem meant damage would recur.

Seeking peace of mind, I contacted a few roofing companies to schedule an additional inspection. I am fortunate one was Roofer 911 owned by Steve Briesemeister. Not only was Steve the only contractor who answered his phone quickly—despite being in the middle of repairs on another job site—he immediately diagnosed my problem. With nearly 40 years of experience in the roofing business, he knew damage was caused by an ice dam—a ridge of ice that formed at the roof’s edge during the storm and later prevented melting snow and running water from draining off the roof. I now understood the water that had accumulated behind the dam is what eventually leaked into my home, causing thousands of dollars of damage to the ceiling, drywall and insulation. In addition, this type of problem can lead to black mold, which is dangerous to one’s health, expensive to remove, and is not covered by insurance as it is considered preventive maintenance.

Making my problem a priority, Steve said he could be at my home within 40 minutes to inspect the damage. Confident the new drywall needed to be removed to replace ruined insulation, he then scheduled a time to have thermal imaging (infrared thermography) study performed to pinpoint all problem areas and the amount of moisture present.

Roofer 911 is certainly an appropriate name for Steve Briesemeister’s business. He offers same-day service and understands that those who call him have true emergencies because the roof is critical to the home’s overall condition. In the span of a few hours, his crew had removed my gutter and three courses of shingles from the roof, installed an ice-and-water shield under the shingles and over the wooden facia, re-pitched the gutter to ensure proper water flow (and prevent water from ever leaking along and/or inside my walls), and sealed hairline fractures along the aluminum stack pipe. At no charge, the crew checked the sides of my home where the roof joins those of my neighbors and repaired a step flashing that was installed incorrectly. Upon completion of the job, Steve sent me a status report via e-mail and left me a detailed phone message.

I cannot say enough to recommend this company for its expertise as well as its customer service. If you have a problem with your roof—or merely suspect that you do—save yourself peace of mind and time and money in the long run by contacting Steve Briesemeister at Roofer911: 703-475-2446; .

Theodoor says:
January 10, 2011 at 3:05 AM

This blog is seriously helpful this will help me a lot. thank you

tykemik says:
January 11, 2011 at 4:35 AM

This often occurs when your home's attic is not ventilated properly,which is another topic in itself.

Benjamin says:
February 3, 2011 at 3:26 AM

We have Ice Dams, mostly in gutters, but no leaks yet, The roof has a very steep grade, water flows right over the top of the ice. most of the snow is gone. NW corner of the house is the worst, I mean big difference. Most of the houses in my area have Ice Dams. Newer homes seem to leak with much greater frequency. My house built 1920. Keeping you in mind if there is problem.

Roofer911 says:
February 3, 2011 at 7:29 AM

Interior water stains to the ceiling or walls is usually not noticed until after the insulation inside the attic or wall has become saturated, so it's possible you may have leaks without knowing it yet.  If you live in Virginia, we will perform a free infrared scan which will detect any hidden leaks that is not noticed by the naked eye at no charge. If damage is noticed, I will put together a proposal on site to prevent future ice dam buildup.

Kevin Schiltz says:
March 4, 2011 at 12:46 PM

i have a town home 3 years old and have had ice dam problems every year. should i really have this problem with new construction? contractor says not his problem

Roofer911 says:
March 6, 2011 at 11:41 AM

No, you should not be having this problem every year!  The temperature inside the attic should always be equivalent to the outside temperature at all times and the only way this can be achieved is by proper attic insulation and ventilation as per manufacturer specifications which will eliminate ice dam buildup.

Denise123 says:
July 5, 2011 at 8:04 AM

Thanks for posting this one. It will surely help a lot of people. Do you know any Omaha roofers? I have also a friend who encounter such problem too and she said that it is really important to be ready at any time. The Omaha roofers help her about it. 

Ryan Parsons says:
November 9, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Thanks for the information. We are new to ice dam and snow removal, and are trying to learn as much as possible before winter hits hard here in NY. We found that last year one of the contributing factors to ice damming was not having ventilated soffit. Another interesting discovery was that our clients that previously had Leaf Solution gutter protection installed had more icicles but no ice damming.

Ottawa Roofing Companies says:
December 6, 2011 at 8:43 PM

If your attic is not the same temperature as the outside, expect ice damming. Ventilated soffit is your intake for your attic where the fresh air enters your attic and leaves from your roof vents. If the combination of the two is not even, it can create ice damming.

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