How to Protect Your Roof from Ice Dams

Roofing repair

The last warm weeks of fall provide an ideal opportunity for you to ready your roof for winter before snow starts falling. Remember, your insurance policy may not cover damages caused by a lack of proper maintenance. It’s best to be proactive.

Ice dams are one of the most common threats to many types of roofing solutions, but they don’t have to be a problem if you make a few minor roof repairs before winter.

Preventing Ice Dams

As the heat from inside your home gathers in your attic, it melts the snow on the roof, which causes water to run down roof surfaces and valleys and then re-freeze at the edge of your roof. Over the course of a cold winter, these ice dams build up and prevent water from draining into your gutters and off the roof. If you’re not paying attention, you may not even know there’s a problem until your roof is leaking.

If water can’t drain off the roof, it can flow back and drain into your house. This can result in tough roof repairs and an extensive amount of interior damage.

To cut down on ice dams, clean your gutters thoroughly, removing any autumn leaves, loose twigs and dirt that may have built up over the summer. This will give the melting snow on your roof a place to go. You can also install gutter guards that keep debris from getting in in the first place.

Make sure your attic is well ventilated, and insulate it from the rest of the house. You want to keep your attic cold. Keep the heat from rising that far and allow the cold air in. This will keep your home’s heat from constantly melting and refreezing the snow on your roof.

But what if you get an ice dam anyway?

Dealing with Ice Dams

You should never go onto your roof and try to hack away at ice dams with a pick, hammer or chisel. This will only damage your roof and endanger your health. An aluminum roof rake can sometimes break up smaller ice dams, but it can also damage your roof if you don’t use it correctly.

If you can tell an ice dam is forming, the best fix is to call a local roofing company. Roofing contractors can carry out complex winter roof repairs without putting themselves in danger. A cool fan in the attic will sometimes be able to freeze a leak until repair workers arrive.
Still, the best defense against winter roofing problems is preparing ahead of time, so start bracing your roof for winter today. Ger more information on this topic here.

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