Ice dams are an indication of something potentially more dangerous than what meets the eye. What exactly are ice dams? What kind of damage do they cause to my roof? How can I prevent them from happening? How do I repair an area damaged by ice dams?
These are all great questions to ask when you begin to see ice buildup on your rooftop. The sooner the situation is addressed, the sooner you can stop the damage and eliminate future costly bills.
What Exactly Are Ice Dams?
Ice dams are present when the heat escaping from the attic of a home begins to warm up areas of the roof. The melted area begins to refreeze as temperatures drop, and solidify into an ice block. As this process continues- snow melting, then refreezing- an ice dam can form. If not addressed readily, the ice blockage becomes more significant and problematic. It is wise to address the issue as soon as it is noticed to stop any further complications.
What Kind of Damage Can Be Caused By an Ice Dam?
Several things can occur if an ice dam is not eliminated and resolved. For starters, the roofing material can deteriorate if left long enough. Gutters can become more clogged, and the weight of the ice can begin to pull the gutter from the roofing system. Seepage could occur into the attic creating damage to ceilings, insulation, and walls. If you begin to notice brown, yellow, or discolored spots on your ceilings, there could be ice dams built up on your rooftop.
How Can I Prevent Ice Dams From Occurring?
There are a few ways to prevent ice dams.
Remove Excess Snow
This is a simple solution. Remove the excess snow that could be melting and refreezing. There is a simple way of doing this, which includes the use of a snow rake. Your local hardware store should have several of these in stock when the winter season arrives. A snow rake is a large blade attached to a long aluminum pole. This tool is extended carefully to the roof and gently pulled to guide the snow off, onto the ground. Prepared to get covered as the amount of snow could be substantial. This helpful tool should only be used on single-story homes, and never used when on top of a ladder. The pulling motion could force you to lose balance and fall off a ladder.
Clean Your Gutters
The use of a gutter system is to have an area where the water can safely collect, be transferred to a downspout, and be directed away from the home and foundation to prevent damages. If the gutter system is clogged with debris, nesting material, or branches, the water has nowhere to flow. The water then freezes in the gutter system and can create ice formations. Secondly, if the gutter system is cracked or split, the water can freeze in these areas, and create a buildup.
How Do I Repair an Area Damaged by Ice Dams?
The best thing to do is to call a local trusted contractor. A-1 Contractors, Inc. in Great Falls is primed to tackle any job, regardless of size, and scope with the utmost professionalism. We can assist you with proper ways to prevent future ice dams.
Possible solutions would be
- Increase the amount of insulation in your attic area. This will serve as a positive solution in two ways: one, it will keep the heat in your home, saving you money on energy bills, and two, not allowing the escaping heat to warm up the roof.
- Install heat cables. These cables are installed in a zig-zag pattern and plugged into a GFCI outlet. The gentle heat keeps the roof at the proper temperature, eliminating ice dams.
- tractors may offer otherwise solutions depending on your home and personal needs. Be sure to contact them for a free inspection and learn how to prevent future damage during the winter months. We are not satisfied with solutions until you are.
A-1 Contractors may offer otherwise solutions depending on your home and personal needs. Be sure to contact them for a free inspection and learn how to prevent future damage during the winter months. We are not satisfied with solutions until you are.