Winter weather brings with it a variety of damaging issues. One of the most serious ones is snow and ice damming. At worst, ice damming can cause extensive damage to your roof and the walls and structure that support it.
We’ll take time today to walk you through how to prevent this damage and prep your roof for the winter weather!
What Are Ice Dams?
While icicles are beautiful and a rare sight to enjoy during the cold months, they may be an important clue to the presence of ice dams.
Ice dams build up when there’s a difference in temperature across the external surface of your roof. As snow lands on a warm part and melts, the run-off pools near the bottom edges of your roof. This isn’t normally an issue unless the outside air temperature is below freezing. Once the water refreezes, it’ll continue to gather, forming a dam. Once a dam is formed, the remaining water run-off will pool and this is where you’ll have issues.
If this water collects long enough, it’ll bleed through the roof and into the interior space of your home causing damage to both your roof and interior of your home.
How to Prevent Ice Dams
The best prevention methods of ice dams are permanent fixes.
Ventilate Your Eaves
The difference in temperature between the warm roof surface and cool eave is a primary contributor to the development of ice dams. Soffit vents keep the entire surface of your roof cool through even distribution of the outside air.
Exhaust to the Outside
Any ducts that lead to interior space should be sent outside through walls or roof. This helps keep the temperature down around your roof to prevent meltwater from occurring.
Insulation will help keep heat where it belongs. Adding insulation to your attic floor will keep the temperature in your attic down and prevent additional meltwater.
You might be wondering what to do on a temporary basis, and we have you covered. Here are some temporary fixes to help get you through a week or two of winter weather.
Use a Fan
By blowing cold air up and at the location where water is pooling you’ll freeze the water in its tracks preventing further damage.
Use a Rake
Your garden rake doubles as an efficient method for removing snow. Use it to pull off excess snow and keep temperatures across your roof more even.
You could also use a push broom to clear away the snow.
Removing the snow will eliminate the ingredients necessary for ice dams to grow and develop.
Use a Hose
If it happens to be the warm day following a winter storm. You may use a hose to run warm tap water to clear away channels in the ice dams. This will allow the meltwater to flow off your roof and prevent the water from damaging your roof further.
An important consideration for removing snow is the total load your roof can hold as well. Excess snow and ice will increase the weight on your roof and may cause additional damage.
And there you have it! Permanent and temporary fixes for ice dams to prevent major damage to your home. While beautiful, ice can leave lasting damage on your home and the prevention of ice goes a long way in keeping your home safe through the winter months.
For all roof needs and inspections give Roof Doctors a call!
Have a question for Roof Doctors? Fill out the form below: