When winter arrives, it is important that you pay close attention to snowfall and how much of that snow ends up on your roof. The reason is because it not only puts stress on the roof, but it can lead to ice dams. Ice dams occur when the snow melts, drips down to the edge of the roof, and then re-freezes. They can damage your roof and are difficult to remove. Here are some ways to prevent ice dams from forming.
Remove Snow From the Roof
Ice dams are formed from snow melting, so it makes sense that keeping the snow off your roof is a great way to reduce these dams from forming. While you don't need to shovel the snow on a daily basis, it is a good idea to remove snow after a big snowstorm. You know there is likely a pile of snow sitting on your roof, which not only melts and lead to ice dams, but may damage your roofing structure from the added weight. There are different tools for removing snow, from using snowblowers to snow shovels. You can also pay a service to remove the snow periodically if you don't have the time and energy to do it on your own.
Keep the Gutters Clean
Having gutters that are filled with debris, such as leaves, twigs, and dirt buildup, can also increase your risk for ice dams. The hope is that when snow melts, the water goes into the gutter, where it makes its way down the downspout so no ice dams form. Unfortunately, if the gutter is clogged with debris, it is going to sit in the gutters. If the temperature outside is cold enough, the water inside the gutters can re-freeze and cause ice dams inside the gutters. These can put your gutters at risk due to the extra weight. They are also more difficult to remove when inside the gutters. Make a note to keep your gutters clean on a regular basis, especially during the winter season.
Reduce Unnecessary Heating of the Roof
In many cases, ice dams are formed because snow is melted prematurely. The outside temperature is still cold, but your roof gets too hot, and melts the snow. You need to keep your roof at a decent temperature by ensuring you have adequate ventilation of the roof, and proper insulation of your attic. If the attic gets too hot and the air can't be ventilated outdoors, it causes the roof to become too hot and melt the snow, which then re-freezes since it is still cold out.
For more information, contact a roofing contractor in your area.