Winter doesn't just bring along harshly cold temperatures, but it also brings along snow and ice. For many people, seeing their home covered in a thick layer of snow is a beautiful sight to see. However, when this snow leads to ice damming, the situation can quickly turn. Ice dams are ridges of thick solid ice that can form along the eaves of your roof and is the result of snow melting and refreezing atop your roof. Understanding the risks associated with ice damming and knowing how to protect your home is essential.
The eaves are one of the weaker parts of your entire roofing system in terms of the weight they can handle. However, they are very important because they are responsible for keeping your gutters in place. When you have ice damming around your roof, this puts excess weight on the eaves and gutters. Before long, it's not uncommon for your gutters to completely snap off.
Without gutters, the water from the melting snow and ice won't properly drain down and away from your home. Instead, it could actually start seeping into your home through your roof. A roof water leak causes your shingles to loosen and also causes interior damage inside your home. Warped floors, peeling paint, sagging ceilings and an increased risk for mold or mildew growth are just a handful of the problems that come along with a roof leak.
If you know that a period of heavy snow is approaching and your home is prone to ice damming, install heated cables before bad weather strikes. Heated cables are installed using clips that allow you to adhere them along the eaves of your roof. As their name would suggest these cables produce heat that helps to stabilize the temperature on your roof. While it won't keep all perception off your roof it will prevent a heavy buildup and ice damming from occurring.
If you weren't able to prevent the ice damming, roof rakes can be used as a removal tool. Roof rakes are made from aluminum and have very long handles, preventing the need for you to get on a ladder to reach your roof. Starting at the highest point you can reach, gently pull the rake down, toward the bottom of the roof, grazing over the eaves. This will help remove any snow on your roof and any areas of ice damming.
If you are either unable to prevent or perform your own removal methods for ice damming, it's important to call on a professional. This issue has the potential to cause significant and costly damages. A contractor can help you avoid this type of outcome.
Contact your local ice damming experts for additional reading.