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What You Need to Know About Ice Dams

What You need to Know About Ice Dams

Now that winter is moving in, your home is going to be up against some new challenges from Mother Nature, including ice dams. Ice dams are thick layers of melted snow that gather on the outer edge of a roof’s surface. Before you shrug ice dams off as an inevitable part of winter that eventually will go away on its own, know that they can cause some serious damage to your roof.

What Causes an Ice Dam?

Ice dams form in the winter as a result of melting snow from higher up on your roof. As melting snow runs down your roof, a decrease in outside temperatures causes the melted snow to freeze into a layer of ice. Each time melting and re-freezing occurs, the layer of ice gets thicker. Lack of proper insulation and roof ventilation is another cause of ice dams. Poor insulation in your attic allows heat to escape from your home and rise to the roof. On the flip side, lack of ventilation traps the heat in the attic causing the roof to be warmer than 32 degrees. The warmer roof causes snow to melt and puddle on the colder eaves where it re-freezes.

Damage Caused by Ice Dams

Extensive damage will occur to your roof if an ice dam is not removed. As water continues to freeze, it creates a larger dam that has nowhere to go except under your shingles. Your roof’s shingles then are pushed up and the decking becomes exposed. Exposed roof decking allows water to enter your home through your attic and run down the interior sections of your walls. Over time your rafters will rot, your drywall and insulation will become damaged, and the potential for mold growth will increase. Ice dams cause thousands of dollars in damage to roofs every year.

Ice Dams Can Damage Your Drywall and Insulation

How to Prevent Ice Dams

The best defense is to prevent an ice dam from forming. Hire a roofing contractor to inspect your roof and attic before the winter season. A licensed roofing contractor will make recommendations for proper insulation levels in your attic and inform you if you need more ventilation on your roof. Don’t allow snow to accumulate. Be aware that you must know what you are doing when removing snow from a roof. Snow removal from a roof can be dangerous and cause damage to your shingles if you use the wrong equipment. Freezing temperatures make shingles brittle and highly susceptible to breakage. A qualified contractor will have the experience and equipment necessary to ice dams and heavy snow from your roof without causing damage.

Let Us Help

The professionals at Indiana Roof & Exterior Cleaning can help keep protect your home from ice dams this winter. We have the equipment necessary to clear ice dams from your roof without causing any further damage. Indiana Roof & Exterior Cleaning can also conduct any inspections you might need to make sure your roof can take on the harsh winter weather. Contact us today to schedule an inspection or for more information.

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