How to Look for Ice Dam Damage to Roof

Many of us have known all too well the impact of ice dams on our roofs this past winter, which may have caused leaks in our homes. Now is the time to inspect the roof and attic for possible damage and/or leaks. Let’s start with the inside of your house in the attic. Look around in your attic for straining or signs of wet insulation. These are areas that need to be addressed or investigated further. Make sure you know these locations so that either you or someone qualified can take a closer look once on the exterior of the roof.

Inspecting the Roof

A lot of the inspection can be done from the ground. Grab a set of binoculars and a ladder to set against the house. Canvas the roof for the following:

  • Missing or loose shingles
  • Pulled nails sticking up
  • Check flashing around the chimney
  • Check flashing in valley or around vent stacks
  • Look at gutters and down spouts
  • Are they full, or do they need cleaning?
  • Make sure all gutters are attached properly, including downspout and connections
  • Gutters pulled loose from ice will allow for leaks in attics and walls.

Getting on the Roof

If you feel comfortable getting onto the roof, then, if necessary, make sure you have a partner to assist in holding the ladder.

Walk the length of the roof, starting from the lower perimeter and working your way up to the ridge.

Look for:

  • Loose or missing shingles
  • Warped shingles or soft spots in the roof
  • Holes or defects in the shingles

*If the roof shows any signs of defects, you will need to repair or replace it.”

Repairing or replacing the roof should be done by a qualified roofing contractor, who can also climb onto the roof if you do not feel comfortable doing that yourself.

By inspecting the roof in early spring, you can reduce the likelihood of potential and costly repairs down the road. If you don’t address the roof problems early, then not only will you have a higher repair cost, but there’s also a possibility for the accumulation of mold in your attic.

We all know this long, rough winter has taken a toll on us and on our homes as well.