Winter is here, which means snow may be right around the corner. While it may look nice, melting snow can cause damage to your roof, gutters, and home. The icicles hanging off of your roof are actually a symptom of an ice dam, which can cause melted water to infiltrate your roof and home. As experienced roofing contractors Montgomery County, we have compiled our top tips for eliminating and preventing ice dams this winter.
What Causes Ice Dams?
Ice dams form when the warm air in your attic heats seeps out and begins to melt the accumulated snow and ice that is on your roof. As the water runs down, it reaches the eave of the roof and freezes. Ice and snow can also build up in your gutters and give the ice dam a base where it can form.
As the dam gets big enough, it blocks the flow of water and it starts to pool behind the ice. Once this happens, the water will find its way under your shingles and start to seep into the roof sheathing, your attic, and your walls. Not only that, if the ice dam gets big enough, the weight can tear your shingles and gutters off of your house.
I Have An Ice Dam, Now What?
There are a couple of ways you can get rid of an ice dam. One way is to chip away at it with a rubber mallet. This is slow and can cause damage to your gutters and shingles. It involves climbing a ladder and which can be very dangerous and is not advised.
You can clear out the gutters and downspouts. This also involves climbing a ladder and chipping the ice, which can possibly lead to damage to the gutters and downspouts.
A safe and effective way is to fill an old pantyhose leg with calcium chloride and place it on the roof and gutter. Lay it so it sits on the roof and gutter. The calcium chloride will melt the snow and ice on the roof and on the gutter, giving the water a path to flow off the roof.
How Do I Prevent Ice Dams?
There are several ways to prevent ice dams. One way is to rake the snow off of your roof. You can use a snow rake from the ground or go up on the roof and clear it off. Neither way is ideal. If you use a snow rake, you’ll probably get covered in snow. If you go up on the roof, it can be slippery and a fall is definitely possible. If you want to go this route, it’s best to hire a professional who knows how to do it safely.
Sealing all warm air leaks from the living space into the attic is an easy (and much safer) way to help prevent ice dams. Adding extra insulation in the attic space is also a relatively inexpensive fix.
Ventilating your eaves and roof ridge will help keep snow from melting. By keeping a flow of cold air, it prevents snowmelt.
These are just a few of the ways that you can help prevent ice dams on your home. Keep in mind that once an ice dam forms, the removal process can be quite dangerous. It’s best to call the professionals to help you safely remove your ice dams and discuss ways to avoid them in the future.
Need A Roofing Contractors Montgomery County?
Roofing questions are best answered by the pros. The experts at Cox Roofing will inspect your siding and your roof, look for damage and evaluate the best course of action. Perhaps fixing some shingles can buy you more time. However, whole roof replacement is necessary. When you are looking for a top-rated roofing company Silver Spring, contact us today. Learn more about our roofing services and receive your free estimate.