Ice dams can turn your roof into a danger zone, effectively blocking melting snow from draining off the roof. The large icicles that form concurrent with an ice dam threaten the safety of your gutters as well as your family. Learn a quick fix for ice dams, plus what to do to protect your home in the long run.
The Hidden Dangers of Ice Dams
Since ice dams prevent snow runoff, roofs can grow heavy with a backlog of ice and snow. The icicles can weigh down your gutters, eventually causing them to tear away from the home. This leaves your roof vulnerable to damage and defenseless in the face of rain and snow storms. When your gutters do not function properly, your roofing system can begin to take on water. The longer the ice dam remains, the more risk to your roofing system. Once snow and ice melt start to seep inside your roofing system, you’re looking at rotting wood and mildew problems in your attic.
A Quick Fix for Ice Dams
When you discover an ice dam, find an old pair of pantyhose and some ice melter. Fill the legs of the pantyhose with ice melter, then drape them across the ice dam and gutter. The ice melter will begin to melt the ice, creating a runoff channel that gives snow melt a way to escape the roof.
This quick fix will lessen your immediate danger, but you’ve got to seek help from the pros to protect your roof and your attic
Professional Roofing Help to Prevent Ice Dams
If ice dams form on your roof, it’s a good indication that your attic lacks sufficient ventilation and insulation. Warm attics cause snow to melt, yet melt water refreezes when it hits the ice dam. Over time this makes the ice dam larger, increasing your risk.
Across the northeastern U.S., attic insulation should be 12 inches thick, with an R value of 38. This helps keep your attic cool in the winter and warms your house by forcing warm air down. When the attic has ventilation, the roof remains cool in the winter. Attic insulation and ventilation keeps you warmer during winter, and prevents the cycle of melt and freeze that leads to the buildup of ice dams.
A professional roofer can inspect your attic insulation and ventilation and make changes to protect you from ice dams. A roofer can also clear out your gutters, giving snow and rain an easy path off your roof. When you begin the winter with clean gutters, you’ll avoid ice dams.
Get Your Gutters & Roof Ready for Winter
Whether you have a new home or a historic property, a roofing professional can help you find the right solution against ice dams, protecting your home’s value and your safety.
Get peace of mind and make sure you’re protected this winter by having your roof inspected now.