During the winter, not only should you be concerned about snow and ice accumulation on your roof system, but you should also keep an eye out for ice dams. Ice dams can cause serious damage to your roof and gutter system, as well as your wallet! It’s important to make sure you’re prepared to call in help at the first signs of an ice dam.
An ice dam forms in your gutters from a combination of snow, heat and cold temperatures. If snow that has been accumulating on your roof begins to melt from say a warm attic, that water will drip down into your gutters and refreeze, causing an ice dam. This ice dam acts as a roadblock in your main drainage system. Without an escape route for water, the water is at risk of seeping under your roof’s substructure, into your attic and your walls, which can cause a host of problems including mold, mildew and rot.
To prevent ice dams from forming in your gutter system, the most important factor is to make sure that your roof system is properly ventilated. Warm attics are a huge culprit in creating ice dams. To ensure that your roof has proper ventilation it should have either soffit vents & ridge vents, attic fans or gable vents. These vents will help prevent premature thaw of snow and ice on your roof.
If your attic’s temperature is above 32 degrees Fahrenheit then your roof and gutter system is at risk of forming an ice dam. Luckily there are warning signs that you can look for to detect ice dams before it’s too late. First, icicles that form on the edge of your roof are signs that water is melting and refreezing. Additionally any icicles that appear at your roof vents or that are coming from under your siding are signs that water has already seeped into your attic and behind your siding.
If you’re in need of professional help to either detect or get rid of ice dams, our team at Exterior Home Services can help. Call or click here for a quote!