If you live in a climate that experiences winter, chances are at one time or another you’ve stepped outside your home, looked up above and found blades of ice stabbing their sharp points down at you. Depending on your point of view, icicles can be scary or beautiful, but from the perspective of your roof, ice – and in particular the dams it can build up – can be just plain menaces.
According to a December 2009 ARA article titled “Act now to prevent costly ice damage later,” ice dams “may not be something the average homeowner has ever heard of, but they occur all too frequently during the winter months, resulting in costly damage” that could require the services of a roofing contractor.Visit the site: Insulation4Us.com
What’s an ice dam? In essence, it’s water that refreezes on the cold eaves around the roof’s edge, thereby preventing proper drainage. It stems from the melting of snow and ice buildup on your roof as a result of your home’s interior heat. When all that frozen stuff starts unfreezing, it can quickly trickle down around your roof’s edging. Then, when it refreezes, it blocks the gutters and drains, ultimately wreaking havoc on your home. That’s because the “pooled water backs up behind the ice and seeps into the home under the shingles,” the article explained.
And just how destructive can ice dams be on your home? Annually, they account for $500 million in property damage according the MetLife Auto and Home Insurance. Here are some tips you can follow to save yourself from becoming part of this expensive statistic.
Thoroughly inspect your roof every autumn before freezing precipitation becomes an issue. Clear your gutters and downspouts from any leaves, twigs or other debris that might be blocking them. That way, you’ll ensure any buildup of precipitation on your roof can drain properly. If necessary, call in a roofing professional to get the job done right.
Make sure your attic isn’t overheated. Proper insulation of the floor and roof and sealing off of all crevices can keep frozen precipitation on your roof from melting and refreezing. Proper ventilation is also key.
Hire a roofing contractor to help you locate your home’s water entry points. Once you know where they are, you can take proactive measures to weatherproof them.
If the above-mentioned strategies still don’t prevent the formation of ice dams, a roofing contractor can install extra protection along your eaves. The installation of a waterproofing membrane along vulnerable points on your roof-like eaves, valleys or behind gutters-can provide extra protection against water penetration.
Refrain from installing recessed lighting near your roof. The heat it generates can melt snow, thereby causing ice buildup. If you already have recessed lighting installed near your roof, consider having it replaced.
Contact a roofing professional if you see giant icicles hanging from your eaves. They’re usually the first warning sign that ice dams are forming.
Have the excess snow on your roof professionally raked or swept off. Never attempt climbing up on your roof and attempting to do so yourself.