Ice Dams: The Culprit for Most Winter Roof Problems

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Ice Dams: The Culprit for Most Winter Roof Problems

Another glorious summer and autumn are over, and we now have the cold weather to look forward to. We can already imagine it: 10-degree temperatures, white-capped buildings, and cold, drafty breezes everywhere we go.

Experts still can’t provide a clear forecast for what type of winter we’ll be having in Utah this winter 2015-16, specifically for us at the northern part of the state. For our part, we keep you informed so you can prepare your home or building from the snow and the cold weather.

A previous blog discussed how you can prepare your roof for winter. This time, we’re taking a closer look at the most common culprit behind winter roof damage: ice dams.

Dam That Ice

Ice dams often form after heavy snowfall and several days of extreme cold. These can damage or displace shingles, which could then cause leaks.

When snow on the roof melts, it trickles down into the cold gutter and freezes, which creates a blockage, or a “dam”. The melting can happen even in cold weather when heat from the building reaches the roof.

As the blockage continues to enlarge, water and ice back up under the shingles and re-freeze, creating openings. The trapped water and ice then seeps through the roof, plaster, the ceiling then into the home.

Protecting the Roof

The best protection against ice dams is still prevention, but if it already got into the shingles or the gutter, break it up carefully. Do not use a knife, ax, or any sharp tool as these can cut the shingles.

To prevent the snow and ice from backing up, keep the roof, gutters, and downspouts clear even before the snow falls. Keep the roof cold by ensuring warm air is not leaking into the ceiling and attic. Seal plumbing vents and electrical wires, and boost attic insulation.

Also, keep snow from piling up by scraping it off the roof every few hours.

It’s best to do repair or maintenance works on the roof before bad weather comes blowing in. For more reliable and comprehensive works, work with a local company you trust. Collins Roofing is here to help you prepare for the winter.

Be it for a home, small store, or a mid- or high-rise building, we offer a range of services for all your roofing needs. Get in touch with us today for efficient services that deliver great results.