The icicles hanging from the edges of your roof may make your home look like a scene from a Hallmark Christmas card, but no matter how charming your home may look, every roofer knows that icicles form mostly because of ice dams. Ice dams are responsible for water damage to your roof and other components of your home, including your gutters, siding, insulation, paint and many more.
How Ice Dams Form
Icicles are bad news, but how do they end up on your roof every winter? Ice dams form due to the temperatures beneath your roof. Hot air rises, and it can become trapped in the highest part of your roof. When snow falls, and the outdoor temperature falls below 32 degrees, the snow on the top part of your roof melts because of the heat (higher than 32 degrees).
At the lower end of your roof, where the melting snow runs, the temperature is lower than 32 degrees so the snow refreezes, forming an ice dam. Under that ice dam is trapped water, which remains liquid though it’s covered on top by snow and ice. Any water trapped in your gutters when the snow falls may add to the problem.
Ice dams cause water to back up as there is nowhere else for it to go. This forces the water to seep under the shingles and into cracks and gaps, where it begins to cause damage to multiple parts of your home.
How to Prevent Ice Dam Formation
The major cause of ice dam formation is heat so the only way you can truly address the problem long term is to improve the ventilation under your roof. Roof maintenance professionals can take a look at your attic vents and recommend changes to allow heat to leave quickly. It’s not advisable to DIY this as you might end up making the vents too large, allowing more moisture inside. It’s best to go with a pro.
It’s also a good idea to remove anything that blocks the flow of water from your gutters. Ask a professional to fix any damage to your gutters and your roof.
Renaissance Roofing, Inc is a gutter repair company, and we can work on your roof as well. We recommend working on the problem before the snow falls and causes more ice dams. Call us today at (541) 204-1690.