They are from an attic/roof condition called ice-dams.
They are caused by snow accumulating on the roof when temperatures are around the freezing mark. When the air in the attic is above freezing, it warms the roof sheathing and melts the snow above. The melted water runs down to the roof overhang, which is not warmed by the attic but rather, cooled by the outdoor air. If the air and the overhang are below freezing, the water freezes and forms an ice dam.
This can cause water to crawl back up under shingles and leak through the underside of the roof into the attic and end up potentially dropping down onto the walls and ceilings.
- Identify and tightly seal air leaks between living areas below and attic above.
- Install more adequate insulation
- Thoroughly clean all leaves, sticks, and debris from gutters and downspouts.
- Deep snow on roofs can be pulled off with a ‘roof rake’, but be careful!
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