The winter season can be tough on chimneys in general, but there are other safety hazards that are not as known. Whether the cold temperature has been severe or mild in your area this year, be sure to watch out for any signs of ice dams. Although they may not look harmful at first, ice dams can cause enormous damage to your chimneys, roof and the overall structure of your home.
How Do Ice Dams Form?
Ice dams will most likely form if there is not enough insulation around your chimney in the attic. When warm air from your home and fireplace enter the chimney, the masonry becomes warm as well. Without proper insulation, the warmth can heat up the flashing around the chimney. Snow will melt and then refreeze again, creating an ice dam. The water can seep into the masonry and gradually damage your flashing, roof and chimney. In some cases, you may also experience a leak from your chimney.
Additionally, ice dams can form if the chimney is not situated at the highest point on the roof or if it is on the roof’s concave corner. These places make it easier for ice dams to form. They can pull up the flashing, damage the masonry and cause your roof to leak as well.
Why Are Ice Dams Dangerous?
Ice dams may pose a huge risk to your chimney as moisture can infiltrate the masonry. As time goes by, the masonry may face irreparable damage. The damage is done during freezing and thawing cycles during wintertime. The ice inside the masonry continues to expand and contract, wreaking havoc on your masonry as well. If you notice ice dams forming around your chimneys, be sure to call your chimney company immediately. The team may be able to save your masonry by performing chimney masonry repair services.
How Can You Manage Ice Dams?
To prevent the formation of ice dams, you might want to consider adding additional insulation to your attic floor. You should also schedule a chimney inspection before winter arrives so that chimney experts can check your flashing and provide any needed repairs. They will be able to make sure if your flashing is in working condition to prevent the development of ice dams on your chimney.
During winter, you should also keep an eye on your roof, and check for any signs of ice dams. If you suspect you have an ice dam or if you see a lot of icicles on your home, contact your local chimney sweep and repair service to evaluate the issue. The company should be able to advise you and make proper repairs on your chimney, flashing and the roof around the chimney where the ice dams have formed.
If you’re looking for other ways to protect your chimney from the winter season, turn to Chimney Doctors. We will be able to provide assistance for your chimney needs and inquiries. Call us today at (518) 882-5009, or fill out our contact form to set an appointment. We also proudly serve homeowners in Saratoga Springs, NY.