How to Prevent Ice Damming Issues
Ice dams are chunks of ice build-up that can form on the eaves or edges of roofs, preventing melting snow from draining off the roof. When water gets backed up behind an ice dam, it can leak into your home and cause water damage to walls and ceilings. This damage can come in the form of rust spots, peeling paint, sagging drywall and stains around windows or doors. In order to avoid these costly repairs, here are a few ways you can prevent ice damming issues.
Since ice dams are caused by melting ice and snow, snow removal is the first method to consider when it comes to ice dam prevention. Whether you decide to go at it yourself or hire a professional, make sure you have a proper roof raking tool. A roof rake made of plastic, with small bumpers or rollers to protect your shingles, is recommended.
The proper technique for snow removal is to remove the snow in layers, starting at the bottom and working your way up the roof. Please note that if any snow remains, your roof will still be prone to ice dams.
Prevent Your Roof from Heating
When heat escapes your living space and leaks into the attic, this causes your roof to radiate heat that melts the ice and snow. There are several techniques you can implement to prevent your roof from heating up. Consider improving the insulation in your attic to absorb any warmer air that may cause your roof to heat. Try improving the ventilation in your attic so heat leakage can flow outside, rather than building up. It is also important to ensure you have an ice and water shield at the bottom of your roof line.
Try to block any places where heat is leaking directly into your attic. Consider things like kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans that may be venting directly into your attic. If you have cathedral ceilings, they may need to be insulated as there is very little between your roof and your living space.
Trees and Shade
If there are trees causing shady spots on your roof, remember that melted ice and snow will freeze again when it hits these colder spots. It is important that your entire roof stay the same temperature as the air outside. If snow melts in the sun and trickles down to a shady spot on your roof, it can create an ice dam. The best action to take in this case is to consider having the tree trimmed or completely removed.