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How to Prevent Ice Dams from Damaging Your Roof

August 3, 2013

While we have all seen icicles hanging from gutters during winter, many people are unaware that these present a huge problem for homeowners. Icicles are a sign of the formation of ice dams which can seriously damage your roof. Ice dams form when snow on your roof begins to melt. How? The resulting water run-off refreezes at the edge of the roof because the temperatures there are typically much lower. Icicles or ice sheets end up blocking the water run-off from melting snow, resulting in water backing up under the shingles. What happens to all that water that’s backing up? It winds up leaking inside your home, down the walls and seeping through your ceiling.

How to combat ice dams (insulate and ventilate)

  • It helps to keep your attic well ventilated to outside air, as that lowers the difference of temperature between the inside and the outside of your roof.
  • Adding additional soffit ventilation is another option which can help combat ice dams.
  • You can also combat your heating expenses by ensuring that the floor in your attic has enough insulation to minimize the volume of heat that escapes into your attic from inside your home.
  • Any gaps that allow warm air to escape to your attic need to be blocked, especially around pipes.
  • On a roof that is facing south, where there is consistent melting, consider installing a rubber membrane under the shingles called an ice dam protection sheet.

The hidden damages of ice dams can be costly

Aside from the obvious signs of water damage like sagging gutters, peeling paint and water stained ceilings and walls, there are additional hidden problems that can escalate over time. When insulation becomes wet, the weight of the water actually flattens your insulation, causing it to lose its effectiveness overall. Once your insulation has been flattened, its effectiveness is diminished even once it dries out. During this process, your damaged insulation allows more heat to escape which results in more ice dams.

Ultimately, it’s a vicious cycle that leads to more damage and higher heating bills. In case this wasn’t bad enough, your ceiling and walls can rot from the inside, causing some very unpleasant odors. In addition to the odors, it can lead to more serious issues like growth of mold spores and mildew. When ice dams are not addressed immediately, the structural integrity of your home can be directly affected.

Contact Weber Construction at (402) 697-7138

If your roof needs repaired or inspected hire Weber Construction. We believe the customer always comes first, so we’ll do everything we can to give you dependable residential or commercial contracting services.