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Solutions to Ice Dams: From Prevention To Recovery

Combat Ice Dams! Address Roof Leaks And Thin Insulation Before Winter Weather Strikes.

When you are planning for your home’s winter readiness, check your roof from the inside looking for cracks, gaps, and joints. Seal all gaps and check for air and water leakage. When your insulation is thin, bringing it up to the latest code can make a tremendous difference in the heating and cooling efficiency of your home. The less heat emitted through the attic to the snow and ice on the roof, the less your chances of developing ice dams that can cause real damage to your roof.

Final Ice Dam Prevention Solutions Include Improving Ventilation And Installing a Waterproof Membrane.

Once your attic is air insulated, then improving ventilation makes a difference. The goal is to keep the air properly flowing through the home and minimizing inefficiency and heat loss through the roof. Think of it like walking in cold weather without the right hat to keep your body heat regulated. Installing a waterproof membrane is typically done when installing a new roof and can be a costly solution. Once you are at the point where you roof needs a waterproof membrane, you likely need a new roof. The waterproof layer minimizes leaks and maximizes the life of your roof.

When You’ve Got Ice Dams And Need Recovery, Handle It Layer By Layer.

The first step is knocking off excess snow to get to the ice dam. Whenever you are doing any work on your roof, be sure to take extensive safety precautions. This is especially critical in suboptimal weather conditions. Chiseling away the ice dam also requires attentive care, so as not to do any further damage to the roof. Once the ice dam is removed, salt or other chemical melting agents may be applied to halt the problem until the weather clears enough to solve the root problem.

Contact Us For A Free Storm Damage Recovery Estimate.

The Anatomy of Ice Dams

It All Starts When Winter Precipitation Lands On The Roof.ice dams

What causes an ice dam? Your roof has heat from inside the attic warming the exterior and the sun is emitting heat from the outside on the snow. This heat causes snow and ice to melt along the roof, running toward the gutters. Water runs out to the eaves, where the temperature naturally is cooler as the eaves hang out over the edge of the house, allowing for cold air on all sides. Winter temperatures often drop during the night, adding to the potential for ice along the eaves, also called ice dams.

Ice Dams Stop The Natural Flow Of Moisture Off The Roof.

The build up of ice along your roof keeps snowmelt and other moisture from leaving the roof along the proper channels. If you have a weak spot or leak on your roof or among your shingles, the melting snow may hit against the ice dams to back up into your roof or attic, causing water damage. Don’t underestimate the power of water at finding the tiny crevices and cracks on you roof that mean big problems over time or one heavy snow. Ice dams are symptomatic of potentially bigger problems.

 Know What To Look For After Winter Weather.

Once ice has begun to form along the roof, you may see icicles or heavy ice and snow build up along the edge of the roof. Stand back from the house and get a look at the roof, noticing where the problem areas are. You may have snow guards to keep the winter precipitation from falling on your landscaping. Looking at differences in how the roof looks and if you have ice dams may give you further insight into what is working and places that might need some attention.

Record Winter Precipitation Build Up For A Targeted Solution.

Take pictures of the build up along the exterior of your home, giving you a guide for where to target your efforts to eliminate ice dams. Read more about the solutions to ice dams.

Snow Guards: Is your roof prepared for winter?

Snow Guards: Is your roof prepared for winter weather?

Metal and slate roofs in particular add that special touch to your home, but can be dangerous in a snowstorm.  Snow guards also add to the aesthetic of your asphalt shingle roofs. In winter months the minute feature called the snow guard makes your metal and slate roofs a safe choice.

What are snow guards and how do they work?

The small metal pieces that you see spaced apart and perched on the lower half of a slate or metal roof are designed to impair snow from plunging off the roof. Snow guards catch snow to keep it from avalanching, holding the snow in place on the roof. This backup of snow then stays on the roof until it melts or drifts off safely. Avalanching snow can tear down gutters, and crush structures, cars and landscaping on the ground below.

Designed to match the roof, your snow guards are the perfect fit.

Snow guards don’t come in a “one size fits all” model, but rather are designed to the roof. Material, pitch, and climate are taken into account when snow guards are chosen. Though they are made to last for the life of the roof, should your snow guards be damaged they can be replaced. Call Valley Roofing today for a snow guard inspection!