It’s storming outside and while the snow is collecting on your roof, your house is warm and cozy inside. In fact, it’s so warm that it’s melting the snow on your roof, and before you know it, you have an ice dam.
So what is an ice dam? An ice dam is essentially a cluster of ice that forms on the edge of your roof when the attic temperature is warm enough to melt the underside layer of snow on the roof.
This melting snow then trickles down your roof’s shingles until it reaches the eaves. The water then re-freezes when it hits the eaves which stay colder than the roof as they extend beyond the side of the house. This mound of ice however, blocks the flow of water off of your roof.
When an ice dam remains on your roof, or becomes very large, water can remain trapped on your roof eventually seeping into the insulation and even down into your ceiling and exterior walls beneath the ice dam. And when an ice dam breaks free, it can pull off pieces of your roof with it – think shingles and gutters.
So what should you do? The best way to deal with ice dams is not to have them in the first place. And when it comes to preventing ice dams, there are three key words: sealing, insulation, and venting. First, seal any and all warm air leaks form the interior to the exterior of your roof. Next, insulate your roof – this is especially important if you have an attic – to prevent heat passing through your roof. Lastly, make sure the spaces between your roof’s insulation and roof sheathing are well vented to help dissipate any heat that does leak through your roof.
Taking these steps along with consulting a licensed roofing contractor will ensure that when the ice forms this winter, it won’t be on your roof.
This article is brought to you by ASAP Roofing a national leader in hail damage, roofing restoration, and exceptional customer service. ASAP has offices in Denver, Dallas, Indianapolis, and Salt Lake City.