As winter progresses, it is important to pay attention to ice damming and the issues it can cause.
Ice dams are a buildup of ice and snow on a roof, often on the lower portion and extend over the edge and gutters – Snow on the roof melts and freezes creating an ice dam. An issue occurs when the melting snow is trapped and can not release from the roof. It can penetrate through the shingles and create water damage on the interior of the home.
Ice dams can occur from direct sunlight and or heat coming from inside the home – If the attic or space below the roof is creating too much heat it can often be resolved with a few fixes. The first step is to improve insulation. This can be done by fixing holes or gaps in the insulation or replacing it with a higher value. This keeps the home warmer and the attic space cooler. Ventilating the space can also help if too much warm air is hitting the roof from underneath.
Keep your roof clear after a snowfall – Utilizing a roof rake to eliminate snow buildups is a way of preventing ice dams from occurring. Be cautious because snow can come down quickly and is quite heavy. It is also a good step to keep gutters clear of debris as it can impede the runoff when snow melts.
Chip away ice if it can be done safely or use a professional to melt the ice – The majority of the issue with ice dams comes from the ice buildup. If possible, chip away the ice buildup or search for a local company to help with the removal of an ice dam.
Create a channel for the snow to melt with an ice melt product – The melting snow needs a path to escape off the roof. Creating a channel through the buildup with an ice melt product is one possible solution. Often this can be difficult with frozen and snowy roofs being too dangerous to access.