Harsh winter weather can be devastating to your roof and gutters, especially if ice dams are allowed to form on the roof. Ice dams form when melting snow on your roof re-freezes on your roof line, blocking water from draining from the roof. This water can then pool on the shingles and infiltrate them, causing leaks inside the house and damage to the roof itself.
Ice dams can also overwhelm and pull off your gutters, costing you a huge bill in repairs. To keep your roof in good shape, you need to know how to prevent and deal with ice dams. This article will shed light on various measures you can take to keep your roof safe from ice dam damage.
Remove snow from the roof regularly
Never let wet snow and ice accumulate on your roof, as it will soon form ice dams. Try to remove snow from the edge of your roof after every snowstorm to prevent excessive buildup. A roof rake can help you safely clear ice on the roof edge before it freezes. If ice dams have already formed, you should call in a roofing contractor to safely remove them.
If you would rather remove ice dams yourself, roof salts that thaw ice can come in handy. You can also chisel out a furrow on the ice to allow water to drain, though you have to be careful not to slip and fall while reaching the roof.
Clearing the area around your downspouts will also allow melting ice and snow to drain from your roof and gutters, preventing any pooling.
Insulate your roof
Heat from inside the house can heat up the roof, causing ice and snow to melt faster. Vent pipes, chimneys and attic hatches are notorious for releasing heat into the roof, which facilitates the melting and freezing cycle that forms ice dams.
Call in a roof contractor to properly insulate your roof and seal areas where warm air is likely to leak into the roof. If you are replacing your roof, make sure to have a water-repellent membrane installed, as it would prevent water seepage into the house.
Install ice shields
If you have experienced severe snow buildup and clogging in your gutters in the past, investing in ice shields would be a good idea this time around. Ice shields are installed on the lower edge of the roof line to keep heavy snowfall, leaves, branches and other debris from getting into the gutters, which would cause them to collapse. Ice shields also prevent your gutters from clogging, slowing down the ice damming process.
For more information, contact Grissom Contracting or a similar company.