Residents of London, Somerset, Corbin, and other areas: Here's how to prevent ice dams from damaging your home this winter!
An ice dam is a problem of house and building maintenance on sloping roofs during cold weather months. Ice dams on roofs tend to occur when accumulated snow on a sloping roof melts and flows down the roof, under the insulating blanket of snow, until it reaches below freezing temperature air. When the melted water reaches the freezing air, ice accumulates, forming a dam, and snow that melts later cannot drain properly through the dam.
The damages that can happen because of an ice dam can be devastating. Ice dams may result in leaks through the roofing material, possibly resulting in damaged ceilings, walls, roof structure and insulation, damage or injury when the ice dam falls off or from attempts to remove ice dams.
The melting of roof snow comes from two reasons: Heat from inadequate roof insulation and heat leaks, and inadequate ventilation. This condition is called a warm roof and the heat conducted through the roof melts snow on those areas of the roof that are above heated living spaces, but the snow does not melt on roof overhangs. Also, a small amount of ice damming can occur from the normal freeze- thaw cycle melts snow on warm or sunny days.
The trick is to keep your roof cold. You want to avoid ice dams occurring to your home or business. To keep your roof cold, follow these three steps:
- Stop warm air from reaching your attic and roof. This typically stems from air leaks through your ceiling into your attic.
- Go into your attic and check the depth of your attic insulation.
- Attic ventilation draws in cold outdoor air and flushes out warmer attic air, cooling the attic and the roof in the process. If you don’t have enough ventilation in your attic this could be causing ice dams and you might want to look into adding come ventilation vents.
It can be hard to make your home "ice dam ready," but SERVPRO® of Pulaski and Laurel Counties is here to help with reconstruction needs to winterize your home.