What causes ice damming?
Ice damming occurs when ice builds up on a roof. It causes melted snow from higher portions of the roof to be trapped and form pools of water. This in turn causes water to back up under the shingles and into your home.
The most common cause of ice dams is inadequate roof ventilation combined with poor insulation. When air inside the home is warmer than outside, it heats the attic area which warms the underside of the roof decking. The heat radiates through the material and melts snow on top of the roof before it can slide off as intended or freeze again at lower temperatures.
At this point, ice begins forming along eaves and gutters. Trapping snowmelt behind it and forcing it upwards towards higher points on the roof. This continues until ice and snow have completely blocked off sections of the roof, preventing water from flowing off or freezing in place.
Other factors that can contribute to ice damming include:
- ice buildup from gutters and downspouts
- inadequate sun exposure due to obstructions like trees or other buildings
- poor quality shingles that are unable to withstand cold weather can result in ice dams forming more easily.
Ice dam removal should be done carefully and with caution. Taking a preventative approach by addressing any underlying issues is always the best option for reducing ice dam risk. Regular maintenance of roofs, gutters, and downspouts combined with adequate insulation, ventilation, and proper ice removal techniques can help to reduce ice damming.
Contact a professional for ice dam removal as DIY ice dam removal can cause further damage to the roof.
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