They say opposites attract, but more often than not they seem to clash. When two completely opposing forces collide, one usually ends up destroying the other and dominating its surroundings. The development of an ice dam is one example.
When the top floor of a house heats up during winter, it typically causes the snow on top to gush like a stomped tomato. Then, when the water reaches totally open space and is surrounded by cold air on all sides, it freezes solid and can hang over the roof’s edge like a veil.
The size and length of an ice dam depends on the roof’s angle and the presence of attached gutters. The more level the roof and the more gutters connected, the bigger and longer the veil.
Now this big solid block may not do much damage in a motionless state, but if gets to be moderate or large-sized, it could melt and dampen the undersides of your shingles, slowly wearing down the surface of the ceiling or wall. If it grows to a large enough size, it just might destroy shingles and gutters, along with anything around them.
You could clear the snow off your roof to keep dripping to a minimum, but that would involve routinely climbing up high and risking injury. The other option would be to install a new metal roof; this surface can force water droplets to move in a certain direction without absorbing any moisture.