When you see ice dams, you may not think much of it, however, it can cause a lot of damage to your home. An ice dam is a wall of ice that forms on the edge of the roof, near the gutter or soffit. As snow melts, the water runs, freeze again (forming a dam) and prevents any water from draining to the gutters. If the water can’t move, it will find a way into your home.
When there is snow on the roof, and the highest peak of the roof hits 32°F, the snow will start to melt. When the lower surfaces is below 32°F (below freezing), this is where the water and ice meet, forming the ice dam.
Other factors that play a role in ice dams are temperature control and poor ventilation in the attic space. If your attic space is very warm, that can cause the snow on the roof to melt. The outside temps don’t necessarily have to play a role in the melting process. If you have skylights, recessed lighting, or heating ducts in the attic, this can increase your chances of ice dam formation.
If you notice ice is building up around the edges of your roof, behind your gutters or through your soffit, that is an indication you have an ice dam. You want to have this taken care of immediately, before it causes significant damage to your property. As the water runs down, and freezes again, it will build up, causing structural damage, lift up the shingles, which allows water to get under, and into your home. The ice will start pulling the gutters away from the house. In the end, the ice dams leave your home susceptible to water and mold issues.
To help prevent ice dams, here are some helpful tips:
Clean gutters before winter hits. This will help keep water flowing when snow melts.
Shovel or rake your roof of snow before it freezes. If you are not comfortable, or if you have a complex roof design, you can hire to have the snow removed.
Insulate the attic floor. This will help reduce the amount of heat rising from the house to the attic space.
Keep the attic space ventilated to stay cool, along with the roof and eaves.
If your attic hatch is not insulated, create a barrier between the house and the attic with a foil faced cover over the hatch.
Before winter hits, inspect your attic space. Look for any areas that need insulation (recessed lights, heating ducts and bathroom vents, furnace or water heating equipment, the attic entry/stairway).
If you notice ice dams on your roof, you can apply an ice melting product onto the ice, to help the melting process. If you have a low slope, you can use remove the snow with a shovel or rake. You can place a fan in your attic space and direct it toward the roof dam area, to prevent water from melting and entering your home.
It is important to Winterize Your Home to avoid any costly repairs down the road. For your safety, you can always call the professionals at Crew Construction and Restoration to resolve the issue and restore your property.