Ice dams are a serious concern when you live in an area with frigid winter weather. It’s one of the most destructive and common problems that roof companies deal with every winter. Every homeowner should understand how ice dams occur and take steps to prevent this issue with their own roof. The information below can help you better understand how ice dams work and how roof companies can help prevent them.
A Guide About Ice Dams
What is an ice dam?
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms along the edge of the roof, which then blocks water from draining off the roof through the gutter system. They are caused when the melted snow flows down the roof to the edge. When it hits the edge, which is an uninsulated area and thus much colder, it immediately freezes. As the snow on your roof melts and refreezes, the dam becomes thicker and taller.
What problems does it cause?
The most common issue caused by an ice dam is a leak in your roof. As the water gathers on the roof, it seeps underneath the protective waterproof barrier of your shingles and flashing. It can leak down into your attic, ceilings, walls, an even along the siding to the foundation. The result is potential water damage throughout the entire home.
How can I prevent it?
If your attic hasn’t been inspected for its insulation and ventilation, then you should do so as soon as possible. A desirable temperature in the attic will keep the snow from melting and then refreezing on the roof. You can also schedule a snow removal service to rake or shovel the snow off your roof, which will prevent it ever melting on your roof.
What should I do if an ice dam forms?
When you see ice forming along the edge of your roof, never try to chisel it off yourself. This can cause serious damage to your roofing panels and gutter system. Instead, hire professional removal from roof companies. They use techniques such as ice dam steaming to safely remove the buildup without putting anyone in danger or damaging the surrounding materials.
The roofing repair contractors at Chinook Roofing understand the unique needs of roofs in Alaska. They stand out from other roof companies for their top-notch service and have earned an A+ rating from Angie’s List® in the 30 years that they’ve been in business. To schedule a service, call (907) 565-5500 and visit their website for a comprehensive look at their services, including maintenance and repair.