An ice dam occurs when water builds up behind snow or ice blockages in eaves and gutters. Inadequate insulation keeps the roof warm, but not the gutters and eaves. This melts snow and ice from the roof, which drains down and freezes in the gutters and eaves. Snow that melts once the ice has formed cannot drain properly, leaking through the roof and potentially damaging ceilings, walls, roof structures and insulation. Damage from ice dams can include flooding, warped floors and ceilings, mold, mildew and decline in R-value. It sometimes seems that the obvious solution is to aggressively chip away at the ice dams or toss salt on them, but these tactics can damage your eaves, gutters and roof just as badly. If ice dams are threatening to damage your property this Winter, here are some simple tips for minimizing their impact.