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Are You Worried About Ice Dams Damaging Your Roof?

You’re probably familiar with ice dams if you live in New England. It doesn’t take an expert to tell you ice dams can do a number on your roof, whether you’ve heard about a neighbor’s nightmare or experienced it yourself.

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements, so keep an eye on it (especially during the winter). One of the biggest problems with ice dams is that they can be sneaky! The damage can be done right under your nose when covered with a thick blanket of snow.

It’s crucial to know the basics of ice dams in order to prevent this from happening to you. Thankfully, we’ll cover everything you need to know starting with what ice dams are, how they form, how to remove them, then how to prevent them in the future. Let’s get started!

What is an Ice Dam?

An ice dam is a blockage of ice on a roof edge. By creating a dam, they prevent ice and snowmelt from flowing properly through your gutters and out of your downspouts. It’s a sign that you have ice dams forming on your roof if you notice large icicles on the corners of your home or gutters. As more snow melts, the dam will grow.

Water will eventually be trapped behind the dam instead of freezing and becoming part of it. Your home will be inundated by this dammed water through cracks in the roof. Make sure to take care of them before they grow into large walls of ice that can damage your gutters, shingles, and more.

How Do Ice Dams Form?

Variations in the temperature of your roof lead to ice dams. As the snow melts at the top, it slides down your roof and refreezes. As indoor heating rises through the ceiling into the attic, it warms the roof’s surface. Snow from the higher end of the roof will melt and flow down until it reaches the part of the roof below 32 degrees. A dam will then form as the water refreezes.

An Ice Dam May Occur Under the Following Circumstances:

Snow covers your roof.

On average, the temperature outside is below 32 degrees.

At its highest point, the roof surface temperature exceeds 32 degrees, and at its lowest point, it is below 32 degrees.

Inadequate insulation is responsible for these temperature variances. If you want to avoid ice dams or prevent them from returning after they are removed, it is highly recommended that your home is properly insulated.

Are Ice Dams Dangerous?

In addition to causing damage to your home, ice dams are also dangerous when they hang from overhangs and gutters. Falling icicles have actually caused deaths, and ice dams are even heavier and bigger.

You or your loved ones can be injured if your gutter falls due to an ice dam. They can easily break bones because they are so heavy. It is imperative that you remove them to prevent damage to your property and severe injury to yourself!

What Problems Can Ice Dams Cause?

Ice dams can cause a great deal of damage to your home if you do not take the proper precautions to prevent or remove them. As snow and ice melt, they create very damaging conditions.

Your gutters, shingles, and downspouts can be damaged by the weight of the ice dam, making repairs more difficult.

As ice and snow accumulate behind the dam during winter, water will leak into your attic when it melts.

The chimney, skylights, or other sensitive roof areas can also leak snow.

If water leaks into your attic and walls, mold and mildew growth can cause respiratory issues and severely damage your home’s interior.

Heavy snow and ice can also cause roof collapses.

Removing an ice dam is actually easier than you might think. Instead of picking up a pickaxe or shovel and slashing at the dam, you should use steam to prevent further damage to your roof. Southers Construction recommends steam for removing heavy ice dams. At 302 degrees, steam machines easily melt snow. The process is safe for us, for the homeowner, and for your roof and shingles.

What’s the best way to prevent Ice Dams from forming?

Ice dams are usually caused by inadequate ventilation and inadequate insulation. A blower door test can help you identify any inefficiencies in your home. These tests determine areas of poor insulation in your home by depressurizing it and using a thermal camera. Southers Construction performs this home energy assessment to prevent ice dams from recurring. We will examine your home’s ventilation, air leaks, and insulation to see where improvements can be made.

The winters in New England can be quite hectic, with record amounts of snow and bone-chilling temperatures. Therefore, you must always be prepared for whatever the weather may bring. When you’re outside, you should wear layers, and indoors, you should protect yourself from the elements. In order to prevent ice dams, you must properly insulate your home. We can help you with that.

The Safest Way to Remove Ice Dams.

In order to keep your home healthy during the winter, ice dams must be removed. When water gets trapped between the melting point and the ice dam, it sits on your roof for a long time and eventually seeps through. As a result, serious damage could occur.

The only way to remove ice dams properly and without damaging your roof is to use steam. This is the only way Southers Construction will ever remove an ice dam, so you can rest assured we will take care of the problem while maintaining the integrity of your home.

If you need ice dam removal in the winter months or wish to keep someone in mind in case an ice dam ever affects your home, Southers Construction is the only choice. Contact us today!

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