How to prevent ice dams on your roof?

ice dams on roof Canada

While ice dams may look beautiful and harmless on top of your house, they are a nightmare waiting to happen. If not treated, these chunks of ice can damage your gutters and roof, causing water to leak into your home. This article will look at what ice dams are, how they are formed, and how to prevent ice damming before it occurs.

What Are Ice Dams?

An ice dam is a thick hump of ice that forms at the edge of a roof, also known as the eave. It is very common in the northern parts of the US and Canada but can occur in any snowy climate.

Ice dams stop melting snow from draining off the roof. This can cause water to build upon the roof and loosen the shingles, resulting in a leak that may soak the interior of your house.

How Do They Form?

After snows fall, they are melted into the water by the warm attic air and the heat from the sun. Usually, this water will drain into your gutters and move out through the drain pipe.  

Ice dams are formed when the temperature at the peak of your roof is higher than at the eaves, causing snow that has been melted at the rooftop to be refrozen at the eaves. 

The variation in roof temperature may be caused by improper insulation or ventilation of the attic. These are the two most crucial things every roof needs to have.

The Dangers of having Ice Dams on your roof

Ice damage can lead to interior water damage in your home. Water that collects above the dams can work under the shingles into the attic, which may leak into your home. This water leak can cause your paint to peel, stain your ceilings, and make moulds grow inside your house. Not only will these structural issues affect the quality of your air, but they will also result in costly repairs down the line.

How to Prevent Ice Dams

The first thing to prevent ice dams from forming is to check your attic for air leaks and cover them with caulk. If necessary, you can decide to insulate your attic.

You may also want to install soffit or ridge vents if your attic does not have adequate ventilation. This will make your attic cool, preventing snow from quickly melting there.  

If ice dams are already on your roof, you can have a heat cable installed on the eaves. This will slowly melt the ice to flow into the gutters. Alternatively, you can hire an expert to steam off the ice dams.

Safe Your House From Ice Damming Today

Ice dams can damage your gutters and roof, which are expensive to repair. It may even lead to interior water damage. So, it is best not to allow these dams to form in the first instance. With proper attic insulation and ventilation, you can significantly mitigate your risk of ice dams.  

Not sure where to start? Contact our Oshawa Roofing & Insulation Service for assistance. We’ve many years of experience roofing & insulating homes in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax and Pickering to prevent ice dams that may cause expensive damage to your house.

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