Living in the Northeastern part of the United States, in general, means that the residents and business owners will have to prepare for the icy weather associated with the winter months. From snow and ice on the road to freezing temperatures and more, people know that they need to bundle up when they go out and realize that their utility bills will be increasing.
One of the most important parts of a building that protects you, your family, and/or your customers and employees is the roof. Your roofing system is designed to keep the interior of the house or business safe and secure, but it also needs to be protected, especially when the air temperature falls and snow accumulates.
When snow gathers on the roof, it is one of the most iconic images of the winter season. This includes the icicles hanging from the roof eaves as well. Unfortunately, the icicles are signs that there is a drainage problem with the roof. Along with the icicles, a large block of ice will also often form in the gutters and prevent melting snow from finding its way to the ground. This buildup is known as an ice dam.
What Are Ice Dams?
Ice dams are ridges that form along the edges of roofs, and the primary issues with their formation on the roofs of residential and commercial properties are that they prevent melting snow from draining off the roof.
With water accumulating, there could be the potential for roof damage as well as leaking into the interior of the house which may cause water damage, water stains, and even mold growth. Ice dams occur on all types of roofs, so all homeowners and business owners need to be aware of snow accumulating on their roof surface.
How Do Ice Dams Form?
During the winter months, you will likely be tasked with shoveling snow off of your driveway, but you may not think about removing so much snow from the roof. Because of the freezing temperatures throughout the winter, most people will increase the heat in their buildings so that everyone remains warm and cozy.
As most people know, warm air rises. That means that the warmth coming from your furnace will ultimately rise to the attic. If your attic insulation is not in good shape or has endured a good amount of wear and tear, you may experience the heat escaping through air leaks along the surface of the entire roof.
The snow which is on the roof surface will be warmed so that the snow melts. The melted snow will begin to run down the roof until it reaches the eaves where the leaking heat is no longer available and the outside air temperature affects the melted snow. The water then re-freezes and ice forms. As more and more melted snow hits the re-frozen area, the ice builds up until an ice dam is formed in the gutter.
Why Is Ice Dam Removal Important?
It is critical to remove ice dams that form on your roof because the buildup of ice prevents the snow melt from draining off the roof. Because of this, it seeps underneath the shingles (or through any small gap in the roof) and finds its way into the interior of the home or office.
The water coming into the building can cause serious water damage to the walls, attic insulation, attic floor, ceilings, and more. You may not even realize it is happening until it has been there for a while and begun to stain the walls. During that time, mold may have been able to grow as well.
Additionally, ice dams need to be removed because of the fact that they tend to get very heavy. The gutters and eaves of the roof are not meant to bear that much weight, so the ice dam on your roof could break the gutter. If the ice dams break and fall to the ground, they can also injure any people or animals that happen to be below them.
Ways to Prevent Ice Dams from Forming
There are several ways to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof. Some of the most important ways include:
- Using a roof rake to scrape snow off the roof before it has a chance to melt and form ice dams – always use the rake rather than getting on a ladder and trying to stand on an icy roof
- Clearing out gutters and downspouts before the snow falls so that the melted water has somewhere to go
- Sealing off any points in the roof or attic where airflow is happening such as exhaust fans, soffit vents, chimneys, and light fixtures
- Adding additional insulation to the attic
- Investing in roof ice melt systems available through HotEdge
At HotEdge, we have ice melt products and systems for every roof type and even a steep pitch. To prevent the need for a new roof, it is important to remove snow before it can turn into an ice dam.
Contact Our Massachusetts Ice Dam Prevention Experts
If you are a homeowner or business owner in Massachusetts and you are looking for an ice melt system that will meet the needs of your roof, contact HotEdge. We can improve your energy efficiency by preventing heat loss in your home, and our products can ensure that ice accumulations do not cause damage to your roof.
The team at HotEdge is available to discuss any and all of our ice melt products with you and demonstrate how they can effectively reduce the dangers of ice dams on your home or business. We are the leader in manufacturing accredited roof ice melt systems, and our business goal is to keep your home or office safe.
At HotEdge, we are accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and we are dedicated to helping as many customers as possible keep their roofs in tip-top shape. Call us now to learn more about the prevention of ice dams.