Long Island Roofing: Article About Dealing With an Ice Dam
If you see icicles hanging around the edges of your roof, they may indicate the presence of ice dams. These can be very dangerous to your roof as they loosen shingles, tear off gutters and cause water to back up and leak into your house. Water damage inside the home can lead to thousands of dollars of damage due to ruined insulation in the attic, peeling paint, warped floors and damaged ceilings. Moisture in the home from ice dams can also lead to mold and mildew problems.
Ice dams are created as a result of heat forming in the attic and warming the roof, with the exception of the eaves. As the snow melts on the roof it freezes on the eaves. This process causes ice to accumulate along the eaves, which creates a dam. The pools of water trapped behind the dam back up and flow under the shingles and into the home. The professional roofers at Long Island Roofing can help you with long-term solutions to prevent ice dams.
There are quick fixes you can do to prevent damage to the inside of your house from the formation of an ice dam. Using a long-handled aluminum rake, gently pull the snow off the roof while you are standing on the ground. It should be pulled in the direction of the slope of the roof. A rake with heels is recommended as it won't cause any damage to the roofing.
There are long-term fixes that should be done if your roof is susceptible to ice dams.
A roofer from Long Island Roofing can answer any question you have about architectural roofing or GAF roofing materials.
Ensure your ceilings are air tight so moist, warm air cannot flow from the house into the attic. If any air leaks are noticed between the house and attic, they should be sealed. The ceiling and roof insulation may need to be increased to cut down on heat loss caused by conduction.
Never use sharp household tools such as a hammer or screwdriver, to chip away at the ice. These sharp tools can cause irreparable damage to the roof. It is also very dangerous to stand or crouch on the surface of an ice-covered roof. The application of a melting agent, such as salt, on the accumulating ice will not help either.
If you are building a new home, the roof should be constructed to meet or exceed the codes for ceiling and roof insulation levels. There also needs to be a continuous, completely effective air barrier through the ceiling. No air leakage should be present between the ceiling and attic. Remember that skylights, complicated roofing designs, heating ducts in the attic and recessed lighting all increase the risk of ice dam formation.
When you are dealing with an ice dam there are a few important safety measures to remember. Don't remove the gutters to prevent it. This will cause major damage to the gutters and roof, and also allow melting snow to find its way to the foundation of the house, causing structural damage to the dwelling. Do not try to climb on to the roof when it is covered in ice and snow. The surface will be slippery and dangerous. It is best to hire a professional roofer to remove snow and ice build up.