Ice Dams on Roof

Ice dams are a serious winter roofing problem for those who live in colder climates. They occur when snow melts on a roof and refreezes along the roof edges and eaves.


Ice dams are problematic because they can lead to roof leaks that can create water damage issues. They can also allow ice to get under roof shingles and thereby loosen fasteners and cause shingle roofs to deteriorate more quickly.


You need to make an effort to prevent ice dams from developing in your roof to avoid water damage and structural issues. The following are seven mistakes you need to avoid in your home to stop ice dams from developing.


1. Not Having Adequate Ventilation

Adequate ventilation ensures proper airflow between the exterior and the interior of the home. It also ensures that temperature will remain constant across the entire surface of the roof. Ice dams form when snow melts at the top of the roof and refreezes at the edges, so ventilation can help to prevent ice dams.


Both soffit ventilation and ventilation at the roof ridge are important in circulating air and preventing temperature differences across the roof that lead to ice dams.


2. Leaving Heavy Snowfall on Your Roof
The best policy for preventing ice dams is simply removing snowfall from a roof before it can melt and refreeze elsewhere.


If you're concerned about ice dams, you can simply remove heavy snowfall from your roof after it falls to prevent the problem.


3. Failing to Sufficiently Insulate Your Attic
Insulation in a home is responsible for keeping conditioned air on the inside and exterior air on the outside of a home.


If you don't have adequate insulation, warm, conditioned air on the inside of your home can heat up your roof's surface and cause snowfall to melt, flow down, and freeze along roof edges.


Homeowners who are concerned about ice dams should reevaluate their attic insulation in particular and install more insulation to prevent ice dam development after periods of heavy snowfall. 


4. Not Having Flashing Installed
Flashing around a home's chimneys is important for preventing ice dams. It's also essential for stopping leaks around the chimney that can cause water damage in attics and ceilings.


Pay special attention to chimney flashing if you're concerned about either ice dams or water damage on your roofs this winter.


5. Failing to Seal Air Leaks
Detecting air leaks in the roof of a home is another important thing that can be done to prevent ice dam development. Air leaks could heat up a building's roof and lead to situations where ice dam development is likely.


Detecting air leaks and sealing them up with caulking is a good way to keep temperatures constant across the entire roof surface.


6. Putting Excessive Heating in Your Attic
You might be tempted to heat up your attic if you use it for living space. However, you should be aware of the fact that this can increase your chances of having to deal with ice dam issues this winter.


Avoid heating up your attic unless it's absolutely necessary. If you are using your attic as living space, make sure that you also have adequate insulation to prevent heat in your attic from melting snow on your rooftop. 


7. Not Cleaning Out Gutters
Clogged gutters will increase the chances that melted snowfall water will pool at your roof eaves and refreeze. You should clean out gutters if they are clogged to prevent moisture buildup along the edges of your roof.


If you're in need of roofing services in the Indianapolis area, contact Eagle Home Restorations. We offer not only roofing repair services but also garage door sales and window repair/restoration.