Ice dams are most common in northern climates that are subject to heavy snow buildups on roofs. Ice dams occur when this heavy snow buildup melts during the day and then refreezes when temperatures fall overnight. After several days of the thaw-freeze cycle, it’s common for the ice to work up under the shingles until it reached an area of the roof warmed by your home. This is when your home becomes vulnerable because that ice begins to melt from your home’s warmth and causes a leak. This leak can potentially damage your ceiling, walls, and the contents of your home. The problem worsens because insulation loses its R-Value when it gets wet. In cases where the ice dam goes unnoticed for an extended time, there can be significant damage to the building and its contents.
What causes ice dams?
When snow falls on roof it gets heated and melted with heat coming from inside the house because of poor insulation. As water flows down the roof it reaches the part of the roof where it is cold and causes an ice dam.
How to prevent ice damming?
There’s no surefire way to guarantee an ice dam won’t damage your home, but there are steps you can take that will greatly reduce the chances of an ice dam forming in the first place.
Clean your gutters
Cleaning your gutters of all debris each fall will allow melting winter snow to flow away from your home through the gutters as it is intended to.
Remove snow from roofs
Once winter arrives, make every effort to keep the snow load on your roof to a minimum. Keeping heavy snow loads off your roof serves as twofold protection. Primarily, it reduces the chance for ice dam formations. These formations may go undetected under a snow load. Secondly, keeping a clear roof will reduce the chance of roof failure due to the excess weight.
Add some insulation
Hire a professional to measure R-value of roof insulation and if it is needed add some more insulation.
Roofing Above All offers aid in protecting your home from the harsh winter weather.