With winter comes snow and all its natural beauty. Unfortunately, the snow also brings destruction to unprepared homeowners. One of the most significant threats to property posed by accumulating snow is ice damming. In fact, ice damming can do tremendous damage to not only the exterior but also the interior of your home. Below is more information about ice damming and what you can do to combat it.
Ice damming is an insidious phenomenon, and many homeowners aren't even aware of its presence until it is too late. However, ice dams form as a result of a straightforward process that occurs with complete predictability:
1. The roof is warmed due to interior heat passing upward from the attic. This elevates temperatures on most of the roof above freezing,except for the overhanging eaves which are exposed to cold air on both their top and bottom sides.
2. Snow melts as it strikes the warmed roof and generates a steady trickle of water that runs toward the eaves.
3. As the water approaches the colder eaves, its temperature falls and causes the water to refreeze into solid ice.
4. The ice builds a barrier that traps melting snow, and the pooling water is pushed back under the edges of shingles.
Once the water finds its way beneath shingles, it's only a matter of time before it begins to cause destruction to the roof sheathing and enters the home. The unrestricted flow of water will cause wood rot of the rafters, studs, and other components, and it will also generate conditions ideal for the growth of mold.
In addition, the moisture will also damage drywall and even flooring as it works its way downward. In short, significant areas of your home, from top to bottom, can be affected negatively by ice damming.
Since the causal factor in ice damming is the loss of heat through the roof, the key to prevention is cooling the attic space. This will keep temperatures consistently below freezing from rooftop down to the leaves. Keeping the attic cold can be accomplished by implementing one or both of the following:
If you are the middle of winter, and ice is forming dams on your roof as you read this, you will need to address the issue immediately to prevent or lessen damage. Here are few things you can do temporarily until you have the opportunity to permanently address ice damming:
If you need help keeping your roof free of ice and preventing damage from ice damming, then contact a qualified roofing installation and repair specialist to help. They can provide you with guidance and perform the necessary repairs.