Winter Tips: How Ice And Roofing Interact

Share The Wealth

Every homeowner should be wary of the winter season. Irrespective of your love for snow, your house shares no same love for snow with you. If for anything, your house, most especially the roof, despises snow.

After each successive snowfalls, the ice on your roof will gradually melt and runoff water. A sudden drop in temperature after the initial melt will spring up a whole new challenge known as the ice dam. The formation of the ice dams on your roof can cause grievous damage to the roof, ultimately resulting in you, the homeowner, spending big in roof repairs and installation. Certainly, every homeowner ought to be wary of winter.

What Is An Ice Dam?

An ice dam is a wall of ice occurring at the edge of the roof. When it forms, the water will then back up behind the ice dam and creates a pool of water. This pool of water, having no other means of escape, will be forced to find their way to the home, causing an annoying degree of damages to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.

What Causes Ice Dams?

Ice dams are usually caused by heavy snowfall, aided by poor ventilation in the attic. The interaction between the ice sheets on the roof and the ever impactful temperature leads to the formation of ice dams. The presence of snow on the roof sections and the varying temperatures of the roof are solely responsible for ice dams. To complete the process, the top roof section must be warmer than 32°F and the bottom lower, with the surrounding air averaging lower than 32° F over a sustained amount of time.

As the snow at the upper portion of the roof starts to melt, it flows down to the lower sections, which has a lower temperature. There and then, it freezes and forms icicles. With time, these structures get bigger till it gets to the stage where it will block the flow of more melting snow. The dam-like structure now formed blocks the already meltwater from running off the roof. As the water level gets higher, the water gradually makes its way through under the shingles, resulting in roof leaks. If your area is characterized by heavy snowstorms, which is quickly followed by subzero temperatures, you are likely to encounter ice dams more often than you’d like.

How To Prevent And Remove An Ice Dam

The key to preventing ice dams lies in keeping all sections of your roof cold. Have the right insulation installed for you and ensure that there are no air leaks in your attic.

The best way to remove ice dams from your roof is to hire the services of professional roofing contractors. Although, you can carefully remove the icicles on your own, albeit, you may lose the opportunity of other roofing packages that comes with hiring a roofing contractor for the job. These extras in service include inspecting the roof for air leaks and subsequently sealing any found. This will save you money in the long run, by guaranteeing a prolong lifespan of your roof.