Ice dams develop when snow that has accumulated on the roof melts, pooling at the lowest point of the roof and then re-freezes. Once this occurs, it creates a dam, holding water on the roof rather than allowing it to run off as it’s supposed to. This trapped water gets under the shingles, causing serious potential damage to the inside of your house. With, or without, gutters ice dams form.
An online search for solutions to this problem makes you think that simply installing proper insulation and carefully airing out the attic will counteract ice dams. The logic is sound, properly insulating prevents heat formed within the home to melt any snow on the roof and avoid pooling; while proper ventilation will force cooler air into the attic matching the temperature inside to that of outside the house. It is definitely a good idea to ensure your home is sufficiently aired out and is suitably insulated, even with these countermeasures in place, however, ice dam’s form. Nobody is asking you to complete a step-by-step DIY roofing course, just learn how to keep your attic ventilated.
WHAT’S REALLY HAPPENING?
It’s very unlikely, pretty much impossible to match the temperature outside with that of the attic. The warmth from the home, will always be a factor. Ever notice that the roofs of unheated garages do not have ice dams? Well, that’s because the temperature on the roof of the garage is equal to that of outside, no heat is causing snow to melt and pool. If the attic cannot be cooled down enough to match the outside temperature, melting, pooling and ice dams are inevitable.
A FEW SOLUTIONS
Closed cell foam insulation systems can be quite costly to set up, but have proven successful in preventing heat exchange and ice dams.
Heated gutter systems are abundant and vary in cost and effectiveness.
Heating cables can aid in melting areas of the ice dams so any trapped water can be channeled out. Consulting both a licensed electrician and an experienced roofer is crucial to ensure the cables are installed correctly; this along with yearly checkups on the wires for deterioration will safeguard the success of this solution.
Leak barriers/ice and water shields are installed in conjunction with a new roof. Placed along the eaves and other areas of a roof that are more susceptible to the possibility of leaks, they are designed to prevent the formation of ice dams. Now, while they are irrefutably helpful in preventing leaks, they are not guaranteed. Not only that, they vary greatly in price from $50 to almost $200 per roll. When contemplating a new roof, it doesn’t hurt to consider this option.
CALL A PROFESSIONAL
Roof work can definitely be dangerous work. If the ice dams on your roof aren’t causing any leaks, they should be left alone. Also, unless there is a dangerous amount of weight from snow on the roof, you really shouldn’t try removing it. Using a roof rake may just exacerbate the problem, by creating a new ice dam where the roof rakes reach ends. Unsurprisingly it’s a good idea to call a professional. Once the dam is thoroughly cleared, any leaks within the home should stop.
Contact us today for a fast and free estimate: Goldenberg Roofing Brooklyn 990 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205 (718) 489-3999