Ice Dams: A Winter Hazard for Your Roof and Home

Just because you have a roof over your head, it doesn’t mean you’re fully protected from the elements. Water doesn’t need a lot of space to get in, and once it does, it’s hard to keep it out.

“Ice dams” are among the most common ways that a roof can leak in winter. Let’s learn more about ice dams and what you can do to prevent them from damaging your home.

Bad Pattern of Melt and Freeze

Any time you’re trying to manage the elements, the essential thing is to keep the water flowing away from your home, not towards it. In winter, heat from your home is liable to rise towards the roof via conduction, causing snow above to melt.

When water turns into ice in a ridge in the eaves trough, there’s nowhere for the melted runoff snow from the roof to go. This standing water can’t freeze because of the heat from inside the house, but it has nowhere to escape to. It gets stuck on the roof and can eventually find its way inside your home.

Addressing the Root of the Problem

Can an ice dam happen to you? It’s winter now, so don’t wait to make repairs on your roof when they’re needed most. There are professional roofing repair experts who don’t only fix shingles, they’ll also ensure your airflow in the attic is healthy, and that moisture won’t get trapped on your roof.

Attic ventilation services are perhaps not the first thing you think about when it comes to roofing repairs. But you should look at your roof holistically, as part of a living system encompassing your entire home. 

By addressing the problem of non-uniform roof temperatures at the roots, you’ll solve it before there’s time for the moisture to build up and damage your insulation, ceilings, walls, and more. Mould and mildew damage your walls, but they can also cause respiratory problems that balloon in cost.

Indeed, the average family of four generates between two to four gallons of water vapour a day from showering and running faucets. Roof maintenance is all about regulating moisture on both sides of the roof so your home stays dry in all seasons. 

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Ice dams may be caused by a confluence of conditions that aren’t all in your control — thermal variations in roof temperatures, outside temperatures, and snowfall — but you can prevent them from occurring in the first place by taking proactive measures.

Call your local roofing company for expert service. Look for a family-owned business that has been in operation for a couple of decades. They’re likely to have many user reviews online so you can do some preliminary research, or call them for any questions you may have or a free estimate for the job.

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Your home needs to be a refuge against all forms of adverse weather, which entails keeping it dry, inside and out. Call a professional roofing company to break common winter hazards, like ice dams.

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