When a wall of ice collects on a rooftop, it is commonly referred to as an ice dam. Ice dams keep melting snow on rooftops from properly draining. When this occurs, water can enter the attic and cause all sorts of problems for homeowners. The following paragraphs will discuss ice dams, as well as offer ways to treat and eliminate their formation on your roof.
An ice dam will normally begin to form after a snowfall occurs. Ice dams can begin to form with as little as 1 inch of snow gathered on the roof. Heat from the home, that has risen to the attic, will warm the roof, and eventually melt the snow. The melted snow will then run down the rooftop until it reaches a colder section of the roof. Here it will ultimately re-freeze, and cause an ice dam.
While ice dams can form after very little snowfall, the worst ice dams are most often caused by heavier snowfall mixed with frigidly cold temperatures. When large icicles are hanging from a roof’s gutters, it is a clear indication that an ice dam has formed or is forming. If the problem is not corrected, ice dams can cause serious damage to the attic and home.
If an ice dam has formed on your roof, you should contact a professional to remove it. Trying to eliminate ice dams on your own can be a very dangerous job, and if it is done incorrectly, can damage your roof. Professional contractors will have the special tools needed for proper ice dam elimination. Using a regular broom or rake can cause extensive damage to the shingles, as well as other parts of the roof.
The best way to eliminate ice dams is to prevent them from forming in the first place. If you increase the level of insulation in your attic, you can help eliminate the loss of heat. In addition, make sure your ceilings were built air tight, in order to prevent the flow of air into your attic. Also remember that houses that have roofs of complex designed, run the increased risk of ice dam formation on their roofs, as do homes with heating ducks locating in their attics.
Anyone who owns a home should be urged to take the proper precautions when it comes to ice dam prevention. When excess moisture makes its way into an attic, structural damage is not the only concern a homeowner will have.
Moisture causes mold, and mold can cause a wide variety of health issues in those exposed to it, especially for long periods of time. Anyone who notices excess moisture or damp areas of their home should thoroughly dry the area. This will cut back on the chances of mold or mildew growth.