What Causes Ice Dams?


 

What Causes Ice Dams?

What causes Ice Dams?

 

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As a homeowner in a climate that is affected by cold weather, especially ice, we need to be aware of ice dams and how to prevent them. What causes Ice Dams?   Ice dams occur when snow gathers on your roof and starts to melt only at the top due to the heat from your home. This creates a barrier of ice that traps water on the top of your roof.  The water can find its way between shingles and seams of your roof, creating cracks that allow water to seep into your home. Gutters on the roof can exacerbate the problem, because they aren’t as affected by your home’s heat. Leaves and debris that have collected in the gutters can trap ice, so it’s important to clean them before winter.

To prevent ice dams, homeowners have a few options.

They can rake the roof after major snowstorms that leave more than six inches of ice, or pay a company to remove the ice for them. Attics that aren’t properly insulated release a lot of heat, so to get at the root of the problem, homeowners should make sure that their attic is properly insulated and ventilated. Another option is to install dicing cables on your roof, which are essentially heated wires that melt the snow. You can have the cables professionally installed, or purchase a DIY kit at a hardware store.

Install an ice and water shield under the shingles on the lower 3 to 6 feet of your roof. The lower the slope of your roof, the higher up the roof this membrane must extend.

The last option is to starve the ice dams of their food supply. Use a snow rake and pull the snow off the roof at least 8 to 10 feet above the gutter guard line.

So make sure that your home is ready to for this winter.  Don;t deal with any bigger problems in the spring.

For a free estimate on gutter cleaning, repairs or adding gutter guards, call us today! Our experienced team will take the guess-work out of the process, and ensure that your home is protected.

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