Ice Dam Roof Damage – Common Signs And Dealing With Problems

If you’ve never experienced ice dam damage, then you have no idea.

However, this article will enlighten you on just how bad ice dam damage can be.

Keep reading!

Roof Ice Dam Water Damage

The worst part about dealing with ice dams is the sort of damage it causes.

This will not only mean an inconvenience to you and the members of your household, but it will also mean spending a lot of money repairing the damages.

  • Can Ice Dams Cause Roof Damage?

Yes, ice dams can cause roof damage. Actually, the roof is the very first part of your home where ice dams will damage since it is the area where the build-up is created.

So how exactly does an ice dam damage your roof?

First of all, an ice dam is too heavy, and your roof surely wasn’t built to hold such weights.

The solid blocks of ice are actually hundreds (or even thousands) of gallons of water that have solidified. And the weight can damage your eaves and push into your roof.

Ice dams will also stop flowing water from going down, hence pushing it back under the shingles which have become fragile thanks to the winter’s cold.

What Does Ice Dam Water Damage Look Like?

Ice dam damage can take many forms. This is because there are many parts of your home that can be affected.

Your gutters, for instance, can crumble under the weight of an ice dam formation. The hinges that are holding your gutters in place cannot take the weight of the ice dam and will begin to pull off over time.

If the hinges snap, then your gutters will come crashing to the ground. They may get broken in the process and you will need to buy and install new gutters.

If you see your gutters smashed on the ground, then take a peep inside. If you find broken pieces of ice inside, then you can be sure that it came down under the weight of the ice dam.

Ice dams can also damage your downspouts, and the evidence of such damage is very clear.

When ice dams form inside the downspouts, they will block any passage of water flowing down the roof. Under freezing conditions, the trapped water will also turn to ice and increase the size of the ice dam in the pipe.

The larger it grows, the more space it will need to expand, and this will cause cracks in your pipes.

Regular inspection is needed to detect ice dam damage in your downspouts. If you notice the ice dam build-up on time, you may be able to save your pipes from bursting open.

A clear sign of ice dams in your downspouts is a slight swelling. This is the stage just before cracks begin to appear.

To add to that, if you notice that water hasn’t been flowing out of the bottom end of the pipes, then it means that an ice dam has stopped the water flow from within.

Peeling shingles are another sign of ice dam damage. Keep in mind that shingles become very brittle during the winter season, and can easily crack or peel off if the ice dam keeps pushing water under them.

Once again, regular inspection is the only way for you to spot the damage an ice dam has caused to your shingle.

You will need to climb up a ladder for this, but be careful because of the slippery conditions. You can call a roof inspector to take a look for you if you aren’t cut out for climbing up ladders.

Other pieces of evidence of ice dam damage include warped ceilings, flaky wall paint, watermarks on the ceiling, and damp floors.

Is Ice Dam Damage Permanent?

The answer to this question is yes and no.

Yes because there are some things that ice dams will damage that can’t be fixed. Your shingles are a good example.

And while shingles can always be replaced with new ones, the former ones have been permanently rendered useless.

As for why ice dam damage isn’t permanent, well there are ice dam damages that don’t necessarily lead to total condemnation.

Mold growth on your drywall is a good example of ice dam damage that isn’t permanent. This is because mold can be gotten rid of completely, no matter how large their colonies are.

Ice Dam Water Damage Signs

Besides tearing up your shingles and ripping your gutters from their hinges, ice dams can also cause extensive water damage inside your home.

Here’s what melted ice dams can do to your interior.

  1. It can leave stains on your ceilings

When ice dams melt, the water can seep through the spaces made by the damaged shingles and flow through your ceiling.

After some time, you will be able to find visible watermarks all over the ceiling.

  1. Flaky wall paint

Ice dam leakages that seep down your walls can soak the paint and cause it to flake.

In this case, you have to scrape off the damaged paint and repaint your walls.

  1. Mold growth

Mold spores are flying practically everywhere, and they are in search of damp environments to land and start their colonies.

When ice dams melt, the water that flows through your ceiling will also flow to your drywall and floor.

Wet walls and floors are perfect for mold growth, and this is bad for the health of anyone living in your home.

Mold is known to cause several types of respiratory failures and is particularly bad for people with asthma and other breathing problems.

Mold can also cause allergies to the skin, nose, mouth, and throat.

You can get rid of mold yourself, but a severe mold infestation will require a thorough mold inspection and remediation.


Ice dam damage can occur in different forms.

It can affect your roof, interior walls, ceilings, and floors. It can also lead to the growth of mold and efflorescence in your home.

Now that you know how damaging ice dams can be, it is advised that you begin taking preventive measures today!