Ice damming is a fact of life, but it’s actually not Nature’s handiwork. It’s a product of bad attic climate, which causes the snow to melt quickly and then refreeze upon reaching the roof edge. Ice dams are a menacing sight and a pervasive hazard you ought to remove sooner rather than later.
To know the best way to deal with them and avoid a costly roof repair job, BSR answers the most commonly asked questions about them:
What Causes Ice Dams?
The usual culprit behind ice dam formation is inadequate ventilation in the attic. If it can’t breathe out excessive heat coming from the living spaces below, the plane of your roof becomes much warmer than its edges. When the roof surface temperature exceeds a certain point, which could be 32°F, the snow would turn into liquid, flow down and start forming icicles.
Furthermore, any experienced residential roofing expert would attest that gutter clogging is also a risk factor for ice damming. This phenomenon can definitely occur with clean gutters, but debris buildup helps snowmelt regain its solid form due to improper water drainage.
How Do They Affect Your Roof?
Ice dams are nothing but destructive. They put tremendous stress on your roof because ice weighs about 57 pounds a square foot. Imagine the additional load it has to bear when ice dam formation gets out of hand. Plus, leakage is a concern as long as the ice dams remain in place and spread to more areas.
Treat ice dams as an emergency, and seek professional exterior services accordingly. Considering the dangers involved in eradicating these large, chunks of ice occupying your gutters, it’s never worth DIYing the task.
Can They Be Prevented?
Ensuring there’s proper attic ventilation (and insulation) is the most effective way to inhibit ice damming. Keeping your gutters and downspouts clean and free-flowing, and tackling snow load removal in a timely manner can help, too.
Stop putting up with ice damming, and turn to BSR for sound solutions. Call us at (607) 229-1280 now to set up an appointment to discuss your needs, and receive a free estimate. We serve Ithaca, NY, and the surrounding communities.