Text Box: Ambient freeze and thaw cycles are created by cold nights and sunny days. Snow can melt on roofs even when the temperatures are below freezing due to structural heat losses and ultraviolet energy from he sun. If the roof doesn’t have good drainage for the snowmelt water it will soak up into the snow.  When the cold nighttime temperatures return the water will be drawn ever higher into the saturated snow then freeze into a block of ice of great weight.  The subsequent ICE DAMs risk structural damage from snow loading and water leakage.  
This cycle can best be seen on a typical pitched roof in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  Early in the winter season after a few inches of snow have built up on the roof edge a layer of ICE DAMMING can be seen.  As the winter progresses the ICE DAM thickness gets greater and greater often to 9-inches thick or more (relates to steepness of roof and snow fall rate.)  This ICE DAM phenomenon is equally prevalent on commercial and residential flat roofs.
Water that is left standing freezes when the temperature drops again at night or from cloud cover, causing ICE DAMS to form.  Each time the cycle is repeated, the size of the ICE DAM increases until it finds its way under the roofing materials.  This process provides a way for water to enter the building causing damage to the interior as well as the roof.
Once water has entered the building it follows along beams, electrical wires, plumbing, and sprinkler pipes further increasing damage to the buildings structure and its contents. 
ROOF DRAIN DE-ICING SYSTEMS, INC. has created roof drain cabling jigs that are the ideal solution for keeping roof drains, canales, scuppers and gutters open and free of ice dams.  They provide channeling of water to the drains and downspouts.  These jigs are easy to adapt and can be used on most roof styles or roof drain product.

No Dammed Ice