Aurora Roofing: Article About Preventing Ice Dams
There are a number of weather issues unique to each season that can have an adverse effect on a roofing system. Homeowners who have a keen understanding of seasonal issues are much more likely to extend the lifespan of their roof while also avoiding potentially costly repairs. Some of the most common Aurora roofing problems occur during the winter months, and ice dams in particular are capable of causing extensive damage. Fortunately for homeowners, ice dam prevention is relatively simple.
The key to preventing an ice dam is to first understand the necessary conditions. During the winter, the temperature of the roof should be consistent with the temperature outside the home, as a cold roof allows any accumulated snow to melt evenly and according to environmental conditions. When a roof is warmer than it should be, it melts the lowest layer of snow. The melting snow then begins to run down the slope of the roof, where it would normally collect in the gutters to be directed into the downspout and away from the home's foundation.
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Since the roof is being heated from the home's interior, this melting snow will freeze again when it reaches the roof's overhang, as the eaves of the roof are not similarly exposed to heat escaping from inside the home. The snow continues to melt and freeze as it reaches the eaves, and ice will begin to build up and form a dam that prevents any water from reaching the gutters. The ice and water then backs up into the roofing materials, damaging shingles and causing interior water damage.
In most cases, ice dams are caused by ventilation or insulation issues in the attic. Without adequate ventilation, warm air becomes trapped and causes heat to transfer through the roofing materials. If there is insufficient insulation, the energy used to heat the home's interior is wasted, as the heat is escaping through the attic insulation when it should remain in the living space.
Too much insulation may also lead to ice dams, as some homeowners accidentally cover the soffit intake vents with insulating materials. Without air intake, the attic cannot be properly ventilated and will instead trap the heat that ultimately melts the snow and leads to an ice dam. To prevent ice dams, homeowners should inspect their attic before winter arrives to ensure that the insulation and ventilation is adequate and functioning properly. If there are any apparent issues, repairs should be made as soon as possible so winter roofing problems are avoided.