While winter does not officially arrive for more than a month, the cold winds and snow have already arrived for much of the Midwest. With the falling external temperatures, increased internal temperatures and the snowfall come ice dams. Ice dams are a mound of ice that form on the ridge on your house.
Sounds harmless, right? Not quite. Under the snow, ice dams can actually be causing costly damage to your home.
How are ice dams formed?
Ice dams Omaha are typically formed after a heavy snowfall. The heat from your attic will melt some of the snow onto your roof, which in turn runs down and then freezes once it reaches the colder portion of your roof.
The frozen ledge prevents any additional water or melted snow from running into the gutters and away from your home, which means the water is pooling up on your roof, refreezing and thawing as temperatures change throughout the day.
What damage is an ice dam causing?
As water pools up behind the ice dam, the water finds an opening or crack in your roof and makes its way into your ceiling and walls. Once the water is inside your attic, it can eat away at the decking on your roof and over time, it will begin to rot.
The continued moisture is the perfect atmosphere for mold to grow, which can take a toll on your family allergies and asthma.
If ice dams are not removed, the icicles can grow so large that they can damage your siding or gutters on their way down.
Preventing the ice dams on your home.
One way to prevent ice dams from forming on your home is by keeping your attic cold. This can be done with the proper insulation materials.
Homeowners should also make sure their ceiling is air tight so that no warm air from your home can make its way into your attic.
Now is the perfect time to get the supplies you’ll need to prevent ice dams from accumulating on your roof.
The first step to prevent ice dams is by using a roof rake to remove the snow from your roof. You’ll want to carefully remove the snow from the lower three to four feet on your roof. Using a piece of equipment on your roof such as a roof rake can cause damage to your roof so do this with extreme caution.
If there’s any ice build up, use a calcium chloride ice melt to melt the ice. Start by placing the ice melt in a nylon stocking and placing it on top of the ice. Do not pour rock salt or other chemicals on your roof, as other products can cause damage to your shingles.
Always keep your safety a top priority. Working outside on a ladder is always dangerous but when you add snow and ice to the mix it can quickly turn into a bad situation.
If you do not have the proper safety equipment, call a professional roofing contractor to help you remove the ice dams at the first sign of their accumulation. Xcel roofing has been servicing the Omaha community for nearly 30 years. If you would like a free roofing inspection, fill out the form below.