Sylvania Roofing: Article About Ice Dam Prevention
Preventing the formation of ice dams on a roof is an essential part of protecting the home from damage. Ice dams can lead to water leaks and often cause thousands of dollars in damage before a homeowner even discovers there's a problem. Fortunately, experienced Sylvania roofing contractors will have effective solutions that will not only help minimize the risk of ice dams forming but will often eliminate them completely.
Ice dams occur when a roof is covered in snow and this snow begins to melt unevenly. When one section of the roof is warmer than other areas, uneven melting can occur. Typically, the snow starts to melt up near the roof's ridge. As the snow melts, water begins trickling down the slope, following the normal course for drainage; however, if the roof near the eaves is still covered in snow and remains below the freezing point, when this water reaches this cold section of roof, it will simply freeze in place. This forms the ice ridge known as an ice dam.
There are a couple of reasons why the snow on a roof would start to melt unevenly. One common problem is the attic space under the roof is too warm because it lacks sufficient ventilation. In cold climates, especially in areas that get heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures, making sure the roof remains cold is crucial.
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Thermal heat from the attic can warm the underside of the roof, resulting in snow melting only in this warmer section.
A roofing contractor can install attic fans as well as eave and soffit fans to help improve attic ventilation. With proper ventilation, warm air will be pushed out while cooler air is drawn into the attic. This process helps keep the attic and underside of the roof cool so that ice dams can't form.
Insufficient insulation is also another common problem that can lead to the formation of ice dams. Open gaps around vents and light fixtures that lead to the attic space should be sealed to prevent heat from escaping into the attic. Additionally, it is important that the homeowner make sure that his or her attic is properly insulated to prevent thermal heat transfer to the roof.
If a homeowner notices that their roof is developing ice dams, installing heat tape can offer a temporary solution until attic insulation and ventilation problems can be addressed. Heat tape is designed to melt drain channels through the ice ridge, allowing water to flow through rather than back up under the shingles.