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Denver Roofing: Article About Protect Against Ice Dams

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When a home is located in a climate that gets heavy snowfall in winter and temperatures that fall below freezing for several days at a time, ice dams can be a serious problem. Fortunately, there are some simple things a homeowner can do to help minimize the risk that ice dams will form on their roof. With a little prevention, the damage caused by ice dams can easily be avoided.

In order to prevent the formation of ice dams and reduce the damage they can cause, it is important to understand how these ice ridges form to help eliminate the factors that lead to their formation. Ice dams nearly always can be traced back to one of two problems. Either there is not enough insulation in the attic or there is insufficient ventilation. Managing either of these problems generally requires the expertise of an experienced Denver roofing contractor.

When heavy snowfall results in an accumulation of snow on a roof, making sure the underside of the roof remains cool is especially crucial. If heat starts to warm the snow from the underside, the snow begins to melt and work its way toward the roof's edges. As water hits the areas that still have standing snow and are kept cold by the overhang of the eaves, the dripping water will freeze, forming an ice dam.

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Without adequate insulation in an attic, heat from the home will be able to penetrate the roof deck. Standing snow on the roof then begins to melt, causing water to begin pooling and eventually work its way up under the shingles, through the roof's underlayment and finally onto the roof deck. Once the roof deck is exposed to this dripping water, it is only a matter of time before it begins to rot and water starts leaking into the interior of the home.

Another important factor in keeping a roof cool is proper ventilation. A warm attic can cause a multitude of problems, including ice dams, condensation and mold. An attic with good ventilation will be able to move cool air through the attic and under the roof while pushing warm air out. A roofing contractor can check an attic to make sure that there are no ventilation problems. If the attic lacks sufficient ventilation, attic fans as well as soffit and eave fans can help increase air circulation and prevent problems such as the formation of ice dams.

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