One of the most common problems homeowners encounter during winter is the formation of ice dams on their roof. Ice damming is a common dilemma, especially for houses that are located in an area where there is constant cold weather. If you're experiencing this problems, you may be tempted to look for DIY fixes online. However, it is a much better idea to make the proper repairs so that winter roofing issues like ice dam formations won't be a problem in the future. Here are a few of the things that you have to consider when making repairs to your roof in order to prevent ice dams:
• Roof Insulation
The reason why ice dams form on your roof and gutter is because of the melting of snow at the top of the roof and refreezing of water at the bottom part. This happens when the temperature outside the roof is different from that inside the house. Basically, the hot air that is trapped at the roof of a house heats up the surface of the roof, causing the accumulated snow to melt. Water runs down the roof and refreezes at the part near or on the gutter, forming a dam. If the roof insulation is adjusted in such a way that the roof surface becomes in equilibrium with the ambient temperature outdoors, snow can't transform into a liquid state and the process of ice dam formation will not take place. Proper insulation of the attic allows the heat to stay where it belongs – inside.
• Ventilation System
The reason why heat gets trapped in the roof is a result of improper flow of air and heat due to a poorly designed ventilation system. Make sure that the heating ducts in the attic are placed as far as possible from the surface of the roof. Other possible heat sources such as light fixtures, bathroom exhaust fans, and chimneys must be directed away from the roof. If it is too difficult to adjust the orientation of these heat sources, making holes and passages where air can escape is also an option. That way, heat won't be trapped in the roof causing a too-warm roof surface.
• Proper air flow
Air flow concerns the entire roofing structure – besides the ventilation and insulation systems. Roof parts like eaves and ridges must be adjusted to withstand ice damming as well. With continuous soffit vents and ridge vents, cold air can circulate properly inside the roof.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Considering the amount of damage that can result from unattended ice damming issues, it would be wise to perform appropriate measures to prevent it from occurring again next winter. At Cherry & Clark, we understand how to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof. Contact us today to find out how we can fix your roof and prevent damages as a result of ice dams.