Install Ice And Water Shield on all eaves and valleys to prevent leakage and damage from snow or ice. It's the best material used to protect eves and valleys that consume snow and ice in those areas.
Those of us who live around areas where there's snow in winter must have seen what a roof ice dam looks like; others should have seen it on television. Either way, roof ice dams resemble icicle waterfalls frozen on the eaves and gutters of your home. Roof ice dams aren't as friendly as they look, they can cause quite a lot of damage to your property, but there are a few tips to stop roof ices dams from converging.
The main cause of roof ice dams is the difference in temperature exchange in the roof. The peak or attic portion of the roof absorb the most heat when there's extreme temperature, especially when there is no snow on the roof, heat from inside the house and that of sun light combine to affect the roof. At this time of temperature change, the melting snow from the roof top flows down from the roof to other colder parts of the roofing like the eaves and gutters, which then freezes back into ice dams?
One of the major disadvantages of the roof ice dam is that it obstructs the flow of water from rain fall or melting snow to the ground. Too much snow fall in winter also adds to the problem because snow as a good insulator infects its insulation property to the attic or your roof.
Snow is formed by ice and will melt faster as compared to a roof ice dam which is more solid in texture and can fall off eventually to destroy valuables or wound someone. If not watched, Roof ice dams can grow large enough to collapse an entire section of your gutter including the woods the gutter is attached to.
Roof ice dams can be threatening and cause expensive damages to your home if not handled rightly and in time. The melting water from the ice dam seeps up and soaks under the eaves then enters the insulation. The extent of penetration of the melting water depends largely on the quality of the roof insulation and wall insulation of a building. The melted water may get the wall board soaked too in cases of weak insulation.
The major damage happens around the eaves as it is the coldest portion of the roofing. Slight damages can also occur from ice dams formed in gutters too. In most cases, you have to inspect in other to detect the damage as it is often more extensive and expensive when the damage becomes self-evident.
In critical cases, you are likely to lose an entire portion of wall owing to water damages or mildew, which means you will end up replacing some portion of your eave gutters and roofs too.
However, the good thing is that most damages orchestrated by ice dams are actually preventable. A few of the preventive measure can be done by you, and you may need to employ the service of professional roofers in some cases.
Inadequate ventilation, debris filled gutters, and poor insulation are the three major causes of roof ice dams, besides extreme weather in some cases. Too much heat reaching sensitive parts of the roofing installations like the attic, spaces in the middle of roofs and on the top of the wooden boards that make the inner roof in your rooms are the major culprits.
The growth of roof ice dams can also be minimized by keeping the gutters in your surrounding clean and clear. Debris filled gutters get colder faster than the roofing, which in turn allows roof ice dams to form.
If there are ice dams around your home, one of the simplest ways to melt them is by the application of calcium chloride salt (CaCl) to the gutter and eaves of your home. It works similarly like the application of salt on roads covered with snow. The salt reacts with the ice and lowers its melting point, making it melt to water faster. Depending on your expertise, age or health condition and how flat or steep the roofing in your house is, you may need to employ the service of a professional to help you.
Raking away the snow from the roof top can also be a way to minimize and control the formation of ice dams on your roof.
Avoid using chisels, blow torches, axes, chain saws or saws to control ice dams. These gadgets will apparently get your eaves, gutters or roofs damaged in no time and even cost you more money to repair.
Undoubtedly, the best way to remove or control ice dams is to call a professional roofer and explain the situation for them to do their job with ice dams. Apart from being the safest option, this is by far the most efficient of all available options as it saves time, extra cost and can even come with a guarantee from the repairer. Professionals have insurance covers that will handle any mistake they make in the cause of the job, of which they rarely make mistakes.
If you are able to correct or prevent the two primary causes of ice dam’s i.e. poor ventilation and poor insulation, it will be much more safe, cheap and efficient. Only a professional can come in handy here.
Any source of heat in your attic is an aiding factor to the formation of ice dams on your roof. It is important to insulate any exposed pipes carrying hot water, insulate motors of ceiling fans exposed in your attic, lights that are also exposed in the attic should also be insulated and water heater systems in the attic. It is also ideal to have every duct work carrying heat in your home insulated.
Once excess heat is prevented in the attic, it will help in preventing ice dams from gathering. Adding more or proper insulation to the attic is also not a bad idea. A professional roofer can help estimate the ideal amount and type of insulation to use in your home. A number of specific calculations must be carried out to accurately determine the perfect amount of insulation needed to prevent roof ice dams.
Investing in an attic fan can also help you increase air flow in the attic. With the ideal amount of air flowing through the soffit and the roof peak, the probability of roof ice dam decreases. Only a professional will be in the best position to recommend the ideal option for your needs.
Roof ice dams don't have to be a serious cause for concern or expensive repair works. Contact a professional roofing expert so as to be advised of the options uniquely tailored to deal with roof ice dams in your home and forget having to ever deal with the issue of ice dams again.
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