Preventing Ice Dams in Your Roof This Winter
With freezing temperatures on the horizon and the first major snow still to come, the threat of ice dams forming on your roof is still strong, especially after a freezing rain. Ice dams can cause significant damage to your home, and performing proper maintenance throughout the winter will prevent them from forming.
Keep Your Gutters Clean
Your gutters serve an important role in your roofing system: as water trickles down your roof’s shingles, the gutter catches it and redirects it so that it flows away from your home, preventing leaks from occurring. When the leaves fell throughout the winter, some may have landed in your gutters and congealed upon getting wet, getting stuck to the surface and obstructing the pathway of the water. This can lead to your gutters overflowing and the water freezing on the edge of your roof. In addition to putting additional weight and pressure on your gutters, the ice closest to the shingles can melt and begin to leak into your attic and eventually the rest of your home.
Check Your Insulation
A cool roof will prevent ice dams from forming. During a routine check of your attic for leaks and pests, check your insulation for depth. Residential building codes have set standards of between 12-14’’ of insulation, whether that be cellulose or fiberglass. If your attic has less than 8” and your home has had a history of problems with ice dams, contact a professional to have more installed to regulate the temperature.
Remove Heavy Snow
As snow accumulates, pressure is built up on your roof. Added pressure can lead to your roof caving in or shingle damage. While you shovel off your deck and steps, take some time to shovel some of the snow off of your roof by using a specialized roof rake. This will have a long handle and a plastic edge, to avoid damaging your shingles and removing too many granules.