IciclesWhen snowfall is extra heavy ice dams can form at the edge of your roof and ultimately cause water damage. Once ice dams are allowed to form, they can be difficult and dangerous to remove, so it’s best to take preventative measures to protect your roof from ice dams.

Ice Dam Basics

Heat from your home rises and fills the attic warming most of the roof, but not its edges. Snow and ice from the warmer parts of your roof melts and falls to the chilly edges where it is allowed to refreeze and build up. This creates a makeshift dam that stops snowmelt from flowing off of your roof. As the water builds up behind the dam, it can seep under shingles and into your home.

Removal of ice dams can endanger both you and your roof. Chipping away at them requires heading up and on to the slick rooftop and using sharp tools that can do as much damage to your shingles as they do to the ice. The general advice for people dealing with ice dams is to contact a contractor to remove it safely.

Roof protection strategies

As unpleasant as it sounds, one short term prevention strategy is to rake off some of the snow from your roof right after a massive storm. Of course, this simply isn’t possible for everyone. Another way to prevent ice dams is to keep your gutters and downspouts clear. This allows melting snow and ice to make their way off of your roof with more ease.

There are also long-term methods of ice dam protection that you can take into consideration when having a new roof installed. Things like water resistant membranes can be added underneath your shingles in order to stop water from going through the roof and into your home.

Insulation can be your best friend when trying to stop the growth of ice dams. In addition to making sure your attic is properly insulated, measures should be taken to seal up any areas where heat is allowed to leak up to your attic. This will create a more even temperature on your roof which will keep the snow from melting in the first place.

For more information on roof installation and a free consultation contact Absolute Home Solutions at 240-328-9872. You can also connect with Absolute Home Solutions on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.

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