An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining off the roof. Often times, melting snow will pool up behind the ridge and work its way under roof shingles and into the home, causing significant damage to ceilings, walls and floors. The sheer weight of the ice dams can also damage gutters, downspouts and fascia boards.
How Ice Dams Form
In order for ice dams to form, there needs to be snow accumulation, home heat loss and subfreezing temperatures. As heat rises from your home, it melts the accumulated snow on the roof. That melted snow travels down the roof until it reaches the eave line and gutters. It then refreezes there due to the colder temperatures, forming the ice dam. This ice blocks the flow of subsequent snow melt. As water melts higher up on the roof, it flows down and pools up behind the ice. Since that water is sitting over the warmer portion of the roof, it doesn't freeze and therefore can seep through the roof and into your home. Another way that ice dams can form is if a heavy snow if followed by a warm day and then freezing temperatures the next. If melting snow pools up in your gutters (because they're not cleared) and then freezes the next day because the temperature drops back down below freezing, you can have the same issue.
How to Prevent Ice DamsWhile you can't control the weather, there are some things you can do to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof. Working to prevent ice dams will help you avoid costly home and roof repairs at the Lake of the Ozarks.
2. Consider installing gutter guards to to keep debris out.
3. Make sure your attic is well ventilated. If your attic stays cold, there will be less melting and refreezing on your roof.
4. Make sure your roof shingles are securely fastened. Shifting ice and water can wreak havoc with loose shingles.
5. Fix any small cracks in the masonry to keep water from getting in between the bricks, expanding as it freezes, and causing larger cracks.
6. Use a roof rake, a broom or other long-handled devices to remove snow before it has a chance to melt.
7. If an ice dam does form, use steam to remove it.
Above & Beyond Roofing is here to make sure your home is protected from all the elements. We offer free roof inspections at the Lake of the Ozarks. Are estimates are also free and we pride ourselves on great customer service. Give us a call at 573-302-0354 today!
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