Prevent Ice Dams to Protect Your Home
Watching icicles form is one of the most enjoyable parts of winter. However, as beautiful as they are, icicles can signal a major problem: ice dams. Ice dams can cause water to seep into your roof, potentially causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. In fact, roof repairs account for the second highest amount of homeowner's insurance claims each year. Here's what you need to know about ice dams, how to prevent them and what to do when they have already formed.
How Ice Dams Form
Throughout the winter, snow falls on your roof. Because you keep the interior of your home much warmer than it is outside, it makes your attic warmer too. That warm air heats your roof and causes the snow to melt. However, as the melt runs off, it refreezes when it reaches the eaves, which are much colder than the rest of the roof. The result is a block of ice that prevents water from running off the edges of your roof as it should, causing it to pool. That standing water can then soak up under your roof shingles, leaking back down into your attic and causing major damage.
How to Prevent Ice Dams from Forming
With proper care and maintenance, you can prevent ice dams from forming in the first place. To start, make sure that your attic is fully insulated so that the warmer air can't escape as easily. Aim to have at least 12 inches of insulation throughout. You can also add ventilation to allow the warm air to escape from specified locations and to bring in colder air from outside. This will help to keep your roof cold so that the snow doesn't melt. Finally, install heat cables in your gutters and downspouts to help melt any ice that does form.
How to Get Rid of Ice Dams
If you already have ice dams, all hope is not lost. Throughout the winter, rake the snow off your roof whenever possible. This will minimize the amount of melt you experience. It is the melting that causes the damage, not the ice dams themselves. If you do start to notice signs of leaks in your roof, contact an experienced roofing company right away to steam the ice dams away. Once the ice dams are cleared, you can apply the preventative tips described above. Whatever you do, don't try to remove ice dams with a hatchet or ice pick, as this can seriously damage your roof tiles or shingles.
Wayne Overhead Door Sales and Home Improvements Can Help
Here at Wayne Overhead Door Sales and Home Improvements, we have a lot of experience in roof and gutter repair, including ice dam removal and prevention. Get in touch with us today to schedule a free consultation. We'll help you get your roof ready for winter before the first snowflake hits it.