Our roofs are our primary protection against harsh winter elements. With the pounding of rain, sleet, and snow, it is common for ice dams to accumulate. To prevent dangerous roofing conditions such as this from occurring, here are our top tips for roof ice dam prevention.
What is an Ice Dam?
An ice dam forms at the roof’s edge, preventing water from melting snow from draining off the roof safely. Ice dams form due to the perfect blend of scenarios: snow on the roof and fluctuating roof temperatures. Essentially, higher areas of the roof go above freezing and start to melt the snow. When the water slides down the roof, it refreezes because the lower portion of the roof’s temperature is still below freezing. If this continues, the ice dam builds and builds.
The Dangers of an Ice Dam
Not only can ice dams create a dangerous build-up of ice and snow that could come tumbling down onto a person or thing, but it traps moisture. This moisture can result in mold and mildew, damaging the core components of the roof. Furthermore, pooled water can leak into the home and cause severe water damage, costing thousands of dollars in repair costs if left unnoticed.
Roof Ice Dam Prevention Techniques
To prevent your home and roof from suffering from ice dams, we recommend taking the following action steps:
Remove snow from the roof if able.
Note: do so carefully, or you could easily damage the roof
Use warm water to create a channel through an existing ice dam to allow water to flow through
Note: only a temporary solution because the water will refreeze
Seal the roof and fix leakage paths to prevent moist air from getting trapped in the attic
Note: needs to be done before it snows
Clear your gutters so water can flow quickly
Note: needs to be done before winter
Should I Clear Snow Off My Roof by Myself?
Unless you have extensive roofing experience, we highly advise against attempting to clear your roof of snow. Not only will you have to face the cold temperatures and wind, but you won’t be able to see the ice hiding under the snow, making it very easy for you to slip. Additionally, you are more likely to incur long-term damage on your roof if you misjudge even one scoop of snow and go too deep, hitting the shingles.
If you are positive you want to take on clearing the roof, always have a buddy present in case something goes wrong. Otherwise, we suggest hiring a professional to clear it for you.
Lance Roofing: Ice Dam Assistance
Lance Roofing wants to ensure our community and their homes stay safe during the winter season. That is why we offer premier ice dam removal and snow removal services. Rather than risking life and limb to keep your roof safe, let the pros take care of it for you. For more information, please get in touch with us today to learn more.