If you’re used to snowy winters, then you may already be familiar with the sight of a roof ice dam. Staying prepared and knowing when to contact the professionals can save you time, money and the headache of dealing with ice dams in Flagstaff. If you need help from the roofing professionals give Polaris Roofing Systems a call at (928) 699-4840!
What is a Roof Ice Dam?
A roof ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms near the edge of the roof, usually beginning around the guttering. As the name suggests, this ridge acts like a dam and stops any runoff water from draining away easily. The trapped water can then leak into your home through the roof shingles causing damage to your home interior.
Alternatively, the trapped water can also freeze, extending the dam further up the roof. If left untreated, the weight of the ice dam on the roof can become unsafe and may cause extensive damage to your roofing structure.
So How Do I Prevent a Roof Ice Dam?
There are several home maintenance measures you can take to prevent formation of an ice dam. It is possible to rake or de-ice an already developed roof ice dam. However, this work can be unpleasant and involves unsafe working conditions.
At Polaris Roofing Systems, we are big believers in the old saying, “prevention is better than cure.” We recommend performing regular checks up in the warmer months to make sure everything is safe and snug when the winter hits. Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent a roof ice dam in your home.
Patch Up Your Attic
We all know that effective insulation keeps the heat in and the house snug. A snug house means a cold roof, and that’s how we like it. If heat escapes from your home through gaps in your roofing insulation, it can melt snow on the roof. The resulting water will then run down the shingles and get trapped in the colder eves. In the eves, the water will refreeze as ice and start a roof ice dam.
If this process continues over winter, the dam will continue to grow. Regular internal checks and repairs of any weak spots in your insulation will stop heat from escaping. A handy hint is to take photos of your roof on a frosty morning before the weather gets cold. Where the frost melts most quickly will indicate any heat spots arising from gaps in your insulation. You can then target the specific areas internally for repairs.
Improve Your Insulation
If you find that you’re regularly patching up significant amounts of insulation, it may be time to upgrade your attic insulation completely. This will save time, money and potentially hazardous roof repairs.
Clean Your Gutters
Clear gutters allow easy drainage of melted snow or ice and prevent it from building up to form a roof ice dam. We don’t recommend waiting until a snowy winter day to clean out the gutters. Icy ground and falling ice or frozen debris can lead to a potentially hazardous working environment. Clean your gutters in autumn and remove any fallen leaves before the heavy snowfall comes in.
Install Heating Cables or Use Roofing Ice Dam Products
Heating cables can also be professionally installed on your roof. Unlike heat escaping from your home, the heat from these melts the snow in a controlled manner and allows it to escape and drain off without forming ice build-up.
Contact Polaris Roofing Systems
If you think you have problems with a roof ice dam or need some professional roofing advice give us a call at Polaris Roofing Systems today – (928) 699-4840. We’d be happy to provide you with a free roof inspection and course of action to prevent any further damage from ice dams.