Ice Damming on Roofs
By: Jenni Huynh, February, 2016 – E.T.
With all of the snow, ice, and cold winds during wintertime, homeowners come across many issues regarding the upkeep of their homes and reducing energy costs. These issues could range between cold drafts coming from old doors and windows to gutters blocked by ice and snow. Another important issue that homeowners can run into is ice damming on their roofs, especially when the roof has not been installed by a certified professional roofing contractor.
What is an Ice Dam?
When melted snow or ice (caused by heated areas of a roof) refreezes over the edge of a roof and comes in contact with either a cold gutter or a cold roof edge, it creates an ice dam. It prevents melted snow and ice already on the roof to drain, causing the water to build up and often drains backwards and leaks through the roof if the roof is deteriorated or was not properly installed by a certified professional roofing contractor.
Ice dams can cause a multitude of ceiling, wall, and insulation problems when melted ice gets under roof shingles, such as:
- Visible leaks
- Peeled wall and ceiling paint from leaks
- Drywall damaging
- Poor insulation
- Mold formation
- Wood rot
Preventing Ice Damming
Any combination of the above issues will further complicate the maintenance of your home and raise energy costs, which is why you should take the proper precautions to save money and to keep your home in the best shape possible. To prevent ice damming, you should:
- Make sure a certified professional roofing contractor installs and maintains your roof.
- Remove snow and ice from your roof – be sure to never climb on an icy or snow-covered roof.
- Get rid of unnecessary heat sources in the upper levels and attics to prevent an over-heated roof.
- Seal any possible cracks and tighten ceiling air so no water or damp air can enter.
- Increase ceiling and roof insulation.
After learning about the problems of ice damming and the different ways to prevent it from damaging your home, make sure to take the appropriate actions needed to keep your home safe, dry, and warm!
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