In the winter time, when precipitation happens, ridges of ice can form along the edges of your roof if water is pooling in these places. These ridges trap water under the snow and prevent the water from melting snow from draining off of your roof properly. This is called an ice dam. Furthermore, ice dams can hold back so much water that it causes roof damage and water begins leaking into the house. This of course leads to other types of damage to insulation, ceilings, walls, and more inside of the structure. This damage can include mildew or mold, warped floors, peeling paint, or sagging, stained ceilings. Icicles, although beautiful, often indicate the presence of pooling water and ice dams on your roof.
Ice Dams Cause Havoc on Your Home
Ice dams can make it so that you have to replace your roof sooner than you would otherwise. Not only can ice dams lead to water leakage inside of the attic and the rest of your home, but they can also rip off gutters and make your shingles come loose. When your roof’s surface becomes warm through the temperature in your attic rising because of increased heat in your home, ice dams form. As is the case in medicine, prevention is the best practice. But if you already have an ice dam problem, there are some short-term solutions you can use to lessen the chances of incurring water damage and torn gutters.
Prevention is Key
Preventing an ice dam is the best way to deal with this issue! A roof rake can pull the problem snow off of your roof while you are safe on the ground. A box fan pointed at the ceiling in your attic where the water is leaking in will help to freeze the water and prevent it from causing further damage. Create channels for water to flow through by stuffing a stocking full of ice melt and slinging it up onto your roof where the ice dam is. All of these work pretty well for the short term. However, you should never try to chip away at ice on top of your roof with any type of tool, given the inherent danger of climbing a ladder on ice and the chances of damaging your roofing materials.
If you can keep the temperature in your roof and eaves consistent, then you have an opportunity to create a more long-term solution to ice dams. You can do this in a variety of ways. Create ventilation in the eaves and the ridge of your roof, and make sure you have the right kind and amount of insulation in your attic. Adding or repairing flashing around your chimneys, covering your attic hatch, and sealing insulation and ducts are also recommended ways of keeping the roof temperature nice and consistent. Seal sound electrical cables and vent pipes. If light is shining into your attic from below, or if the insulation is black, seal around those areas too. A fire-stop sealant is best. Replace older recessed lighting with sealed “IC” fixtures, because these can be insulated without causing a fire hazard.
Boise Roofing Contractors Help Prevent Ice Dams
If you suspect you have any of these issues that may lead to ice dam formation, it is time to call a Boise roofer that is experienced in this climate. They will be able to help you determine if your home is at risk and give you mitigation suggestions if you are. You definitely do not want to wait to get on their schedule as they will book quickly once the snow starts to fall!