Icicles might look pretty, but they can cause a slew of roofing problems. When it snows, the snow melts on your roof. Clean gutters allow the water from the snow melt to safely drain away from your home.
But clogged gutters can cause snow to refreeze on your roof edges and gutters, causing icicles and ice dams.
What is an ice dam?
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms on the bottom edge of your roof. The ice creates a dam, meaning it prevents water from draining away from your roof.
When the water gets stuck behind the accumulated ice, it can begin soaking your shingles or even draining into your siding. Worse, the water can begin seeping back up under your roof, leaking down through the roof and insulation into the attic and dripping onto the ceiling. Besides the expensive structural damage, the resulting moisture can also cause harmful mold and mildew.
In extreme cases of ice dams, the weight of the snow that is trapped by the growing ice blockage can cause stress damage and potentially cause your roof to collapse.
How can I prevent ice damming?
The good news is that there are ways you can prevent ice dams from forming on your roof in the first place. Here are three ways to keep ice dams off your roof:
- Make sure your gutters are clear. Roofing companies recommend that homeowners have their gutters professionally cleaned at least twice a year. This helps to keep your gutter systems clear to let water drain off your roof. If your gutters are filled with leaves, sticks and other debris, water won’t be able to drain away from your house. When temperatures drop, the water will freeze and begin to form (you guessed it) icicles.
- Keep your attic properly insulated. Not only is attic insulation important for properly retain the heat in your home but it’s also important to prevent ice dams. When heat is able to escape through your attic, it causes snow to melt on your roof where it can become trapped and soak into your shingles.
- Make sure your vents all lead outdoors. The ducts connected to your dryer, bathroom, and kitchen vents ought to lead outdoors through either the walls and roof. They should never lead outdoors only through the soffit (outside overhangs). Snow is likely to pile on and block soffit ventilation unless natural attic ventilation exists near the top ridge of your roof, the pair of which allows cold air to circulate under the roof to prevent snow melt conditions.
If your home has roof damage from ice damming and other winter-related problems, you’re not alone. According to a survey, up to 65% of homeowners said weather-related damage was their main motivation for contacting their local roofing companies.
Need a residential roof repair?
Whether your roof has cracked or missing shingles, water damage, or is particularly susceptible to ice dams, Select Construction has the experience you need to get your roof back in shape. For more information about our residential roof repair services, contact Select Construction today.