The next time you walk outside, take a moment to gaze up at your roof. What do you see? Do you see even shingles that are all laying flat? Or do you see shingles that are starting to curl and that are covered in moss? You can tell a lot about the condition of your roof just by looking at it. If you are at all concerned about the state of your roof, then your first call should be to a roofing contractor. They can evaluate the situation and recommend repairs or replacement as needed. Learn more about roofing and roofing contractors here on this website.
Have you heard of ice dams? They're not made by beavers, and they're not even found in rivers. In fact, they're found a lot closer to home — on your actual roof. If you life in an area where the winters are cold and snowy, you really should know the basics about ice dams, and the right time to learn about those basics is right now before the snow starts flying.
What are ice dams?
Ice dams are basically big chunks or piles of ice that form along the edge of your roof. Often, but not always, they extend down into the gutter, too.
What causes an ice dam?
An ice dam forms when snow near the roof's peak melts and then trickles down towards the edge of the roof. When it reaches the colder edge of the roof, it re-freezes. This happens over and over again throughout the winter, and the ice dam grows larger and larger.
Why are ice dams a problem?
Ice dams can be kind of pretty. Some have icicles hanging off the edges of them. But don't let their beauty mask the damage they can cause. Your roof is not designed to have all this ice sitting on top of it. The water will ease its way under the shingles and then pop the shingles off when it freezes. When the ice dam starts melting, all of that constant water exposure can be harmful to the roof, too. If your roof forms ice dams in the winter, it will almost certainly form leaks in the spring.
How do you prevent ice dams?
To prevent ice dams, you need to focus on keeping snow from melting on the peak of your roof. If you can keep the snow frozen until outdoor temperatures rise, you wont get ice dams. To keep your snow frozen, you need to keep your roof cool, and that comes down to two things:
A roofing contractor can improve both your insulation and ventilation to help prevent ice dams.
Ice dams are one of the biggest threats to roofing in the winter months. It's worth improving your insulation and ventilation to prevent them from forming. Reach out to a roofing contractor to learn more.