By Evelyn Witterholt.
Ice damming on roofs, which commonly occurs in the north and colder areas, can become a serious issue when not properly taken care of. Ice dams form after snow that falls on the ridge of a roof melts down towards the eaves and then refreezes. According to TRA Snow & Sun, this refrozen water has the potential to cause leaks, damaged metal conduits, gutter issues and more if not prevented or fixed. Read part one of our ice damming series to learn more about how ice dams are formed and what kind of damage they cause.
Preventing ice dams can help extend the life span of your roof. There are a few ways to prevent ice damming from occurring. If you have a snow retention system installed, this can allow the melted snow to drain properly underneath the snowpack. TRA Snow & Sun also states that if you have a properly ventilated cold roof system that equalizes the temperature of the roof to the outside ambient temperature, this can help avoid extreme temperature swings on the roof that cause ice dams. Ensuring your roof is free from any branches or other debris prior to snow flying is also crucial.
If you currently have ice dams, don’t fret! You have a few options to take care of them. When your gutters and roof are clear from debris, then the melted snow on your roof can drain easier. The National Weather Service also recommends checking the insulation and ventilation in your attic.
They state in addition, equal airflow from under the eaves or soffit area along the underside of the roof and out through the roof vents is essential. The insulation prevents heat loss from the interior of the home.”
We do not encourage you to go onto your roof if you see ice dams. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not even recommend snow removal workers to go up on a roof. Leave it to your professional roofing contractor to handle any ice dams that come your way.
Evelyn works as a writer for RoofersCoffeeShop, MetalCoffeeShop and AskARoofer. When she isn’t writing about roofing, she’s either at the gym lifting weights or curled up on the couch watching a movie.
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