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Ice Dams: Occurrence and Prevention

May 25, 2019

 

A ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and averts melting snow from draining off the roof is known as an ice dam. When snow and ice freezes into one solid chunk of ice in the gutter, the dam is formed.

 

How Can Ice Dams Affect Your Roof?

Heat loss from the house melts the snow and ice above the ice dam. The melted ice can’t get off the roof because of the ice dam. The water then backs up under the shingles and leak into the house thereby damaging the ceilings, walls, and floors.

 

What Steps To Take When An Ice Dam Occurs?

The initial step is to get the snow off the roof. This is dangerous and homeowners should not take the risk to get on the roof to remove the snow. The next step should be to remove the ice dam. Do not chop away the ice. You can use ice melt products.

 

How Can You Prevent Ice Dams?

Install waterproof ice and water shield at the edge of the roof when installing a new roof. The material must extend past the exterior wall of the house at least 24 inches. When you drive the nails through the ice and water shield, the nails are sealed by the material to prevent water from coming through the nail holes.

 

Adequate insulation is a must. Lack of proper insulation will lead to heat loss. Temperature rises and causes the snow to melt. Also, there should be proper insulation, if there is an ice dam at the gutter area which should back up the water and prevent it from entering into the house. 

 

Proper attic ventilation is vital as well. If you don’t have proper ventilation, the warm, moist air that escapes from the living areas below can heat the attic. It causes the snow to melt and backs up under the shingles. When you have good attic ventilation, it will keep the air moving and minimize the snow melting on the roof.

 

Final Words

Have a good roof installed with ice and snow shield at the eaves, proper ventilation, and proper insulation. It will go a long way in preventing ice dams. Quick removal of snow is always a positive step but it comes with risks. Call a roofing contractor to inspect your property and advise you on some possible solutions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • LEAK DETECTION & REPAIRS
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