Winter not only brings us white fluffy snow for sledding and skiing but it can also bring ice dams thus causing roof damage. The destructiveness of ice dams comes from the fact that they trap the snow and melted ice, preventing it from draining off your roof allowing the water to soak into your roof and get into your home, causing interior damage.
This damage can include wood rot, structural problems, and unhealthy mold growth. It can also ruin insulation, your home’s siding, drywall and more. Unfortunately, you may not notice the leaks and water absorbed by your home, until serious damage has already been done. To protect your home you need to know where to look for ice dams:
- Roof valleys
- Nearly flat, low-angle roof designs
- Around your skylights or fireplace chimney
- Eaves of the roof (where ice dams form)
- How do ice dams form?
As snow melts on your roof, the water/runoff flows to the edge or to the roof’s low points. Near the roof edge (the eaves) your roof is colder, so the melted water re-freezes. Over time, a “dam” builds up, blocking water drainage. The backed-up, pooled water then sinks into the roofing and damages your home.
What can I do?
There are a few simple things you can do to protect your home this winter.
- Use a snow rake (or roof rake) to remove accumulated snow. Removing the snow before it has a chance to melt will keep it from running into your gutters where it could refreeze and could break off causing exterior roof damage.
- Keep your roof cool with energy efficient home improvments. Proper insulation of your attic can keep het from rising and warming the roof surface which melts the snow.
Call us today if you are unsure of your homes energy efficiency and we can help keep you and your home happy this winter!