An ice dam is an ice blockage that occurs on your roof and can potentially wreak havoc on your home by allowing unwanted water to leak into your home. After a snow or ice storm, there are important considerations for you to make. Look carefully at any large icicles that have formed. If the icicles are confined to the gutters and there is no water trapped behind them, this does not necessarily convey that ice dams have occurred. From a safety standpoint, large icicles can present a potential danger to people. Safely knock the ice cycle/s down if you are able to do so. Hire a professional at this time, if need be.
Making sure that you have a well-insulated attic before an ice or snow storm hits is important! Ensure that your attic is well-insulated to help prevent the melting-and-freezing cycle that causes ice dams to form. Check and seal places where warm air could leak from your house to the attic; this includes chimneys, attic hatches, light fixtures, vent pipes and exhaust fans. Install a water-repellant membrane. When replacing a roof, make sure to install a water membrane underneath the shingles. The water membrane can serve as an extra barrier that helps prevent water from seeping into your home or business.
An ice dam can be a real problem. Imagine a massive snowstorm covers your roof with snow. An ice dam forms when water from melting snow re-freezes at the edge of your roofline. If you have not performed effective removal of the ice and snow, the ice dam may become large enough to actually prevent water from draining off the roof. This becomes a potential hazard in that the water can back up underneath the roof shingles and find a way into your home. Obviously, you do not want this to happen!
If there is more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and ice on your roof, you should remove the snow and ice immediately in order to ensure and preserve safety. You should remove snow from your roof after each snowstorm. Clear downspouts. A helpful tip for facilitating snow and ice in draining off your roof is to make sure that the area around your downspouts is always clear. Do not wait until it is too late! Clear downspouts will empower your gutters to properly drain when the snow melts. It will also help prevent flooding when the snow and ice melts.
If you are able to safely reach the roof, attempt to knock the ice dam off with a roof rake, or cut a channel through the ice to provide an outlet for standing water.
Hiring a professional is always recommended to want to avoid any mishaps of attempting to do the work yourself. Preventing unwanted water from entering your home is a top priority every winter!
Call Niki Francis today if you have experienced snow or ice damage!