The cold winter months in Utah come with heavy snowfall that can cause damage to your roof. The most common and dangerous side effect of the snow that settles on your roof is the formation of ice dams. Although they might appear picturesque, ice dams are a menace and can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs. Fortunately, there are various ways of preventing ice dams.
How Ice Dams Form
An ice dam forms when an ice build-up develops on the sloping eaves of roofs and roof valleys. They result from snowmelt on a heated building that freezes on reaching the eave. Ice dams form due to poor insulation or attic ventilation in your roof.
When warm internal air enters the attic, it lacks a heat escape route; thus, it is transferred to the roof shingles to melt snow.
The heat in the attic space does not distress the roof eaves, which maintain the same temperature as the outdoors, thus freezing the melt water. Excess snowfall only makes the situation worse because the snow insulates very well. The snow restrains the heat right on top of the shingles leading to a rapid ice dam problem due to meltwater.
Why an Ice Dam is Bad
Ice dams can be problematic in your home as the icicles can bring down part of your gutters and loosen shingles, causing a leak into the interior.
The water that gets underneath roof shingles expands and freezes as the temperatures fluctuate, and this can even break them, causing water to get inside your home. When water leaks into the interior of your house, you will have warped floors, peeling paint, and sagging and stained ceilings, which is not a good sight to behold.
If you are wondering if any DIY ice dam prevention methods are available, you will learn about them here.
How to Prevent Ice Dams
The best way to avoid ice dam formation is by ventilating and insulating your attic. If you don’t know your attic’s insulation and ventilation condition, then an ice dam prevention near me specialist will help you find out. Another ice dam prevention method involves routine roof snow removal, installing heat cables, and metal roofing.
Use of Heated Cables
Heated cables are attached with clips along the roof’s edge in a zigzag pattern to prevent ice dam formation. This solution enables you to balance the temperature of your roof by heating it from the outside.
It saves you from blowing cold air inside to provide a fast fix. You need to look for an ice dam prevention near me expert to help you with the installation. The installation should occur when the weather is favorable.
Remove the Snow
You should remove the snow on your roof, especially if warmer weather is about to start. If the snow melts under the sun and refreezes, it will likely form another ice dam on your roof’s eave. If no snow is on your roof, you eliminate the leading cause of ice dams.
You can easily remove the snow on your roof while standing on the ground with a roof rake. Alternatively, you can reach out to an ice dam prevention near me company to take care of the grueling task for you.
You must act fast after a snowstorm to minimize an ice dam formation. Soon after, the snow will start melting, and any delay will render the approach of snow removal futile. Furthermore, removing snow after it melts and freezes is more challenging. Using a snow rake may be a cheap, safe, and fast way to solve the problem, but it is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and somewhat temporary compared to the other options at your disposal.
Insulate Your Attic
Ice dams begin with heat loss from the inside spaces; if the roof temperature remains below freezing, the snow will not melt. When the snow doesn’t melt, there won’t be any water to freeze and form ice dams. Sealing the attic prevents air leakage and the heating up of the roof as warm air emitting from your living space will not penetrate the attic. You can use a sealant such as spray foam around gaps, ductwork, plumbing pipes, recessed lights, AC units, and more to have a warm attic.
While closing air leaks in your attic helps significantly, proper attic floor insulation will also help to keep the roof cool. Blow-in attic insulation, fiberglass, and spray foam are popular roof insulation options
Attic insulation goes with ventilation since heat can still access the attic even when you use quality insulation and heat the roof. Ventilation enables hot air to exit the attic space without warming up the roof’s surface through adequate air circulation. Proper venting keeps the roof cool during winter and balances the temperatures of the roof’s surface and the overhang.
Although there are several ways to ventilate the attic, most systems include vents placed under the roof eaves to bring cold air and other vents to expend hot air to the rooftop. Ventilation does not only prevent ice dam formation but also prevents attic moisture problems and extends the asphalt shingle lifespan.
A metal roof is better at shedding snow than shingles because it has a smooth surface and can reflect the sun’s heat even when covered with ice. On a sunny day, metal roofs emit solar heat to the lower layer of the snow, causing it to liquefy and slide from the roof. The cost of metal roofs is double that of shingles; thus, getting rid of or mounting them on top of shingles isn’t an economical way of removing ice dams.
Want to Keep Ice Dams at Bay? We Can Help
Here in HotEdge Roof Icemelt, the odds of encountering costly problems increase with the more time you take to initial ice dam removal. Chemical ice melts are the ideal way for you to remove existing ice dams. However, you should consider getting help from an ice dam prevention specialist who will come fully equipped, including a pressurized steamer.
Contact us today at (303) 578-4992, and we will provide you with the most efficient ice dam solutions for your home.