how to prevent ice damns

Ice Dam removal & prevention tips from the best roofers in Ardmore

There are plenty of reasons to look forward to the arrival of the cold season. Some of these include watching the snow fall, tucking under warm blankets, sipping on hot cocoa, warming up near the fireplace, and of course waiting for Christmas. The good of the cold season is usually accompanied by a few difficulties too. Snow-clogged roads for instance. Or for that matter, snow-covered roofs that lead to the forming of ice dams. Now, ice dams may make for a picture that’s straight out of an old world book of tales, but in reality, these formations can cause a range of damage – from loosening shingles to tearing gutters to causing leaks which may further lead to your paint peeling, floors warping or your ceiling sagging. Here’s an expert write-up about how you can enjoy the coldest season of the year without ice dams getting in your way.

How to remove or prevent ice dams this winter

Ways to prevent ice dams:

1 Keep roof vents clear

Your roof vents play a critical role in maintaining proper air flow along the roof which helps in bringing down the temperature within your attic. When the attic is equalized to the outside temperature, you won’t have snow melting on your roof. This will save you the trouble of looking for the best roofers in Ardmore or even emergency roof repair in Ardmore, PA.

2 Keep your gutters clean

Your gutters are the natural way for water formed on your roof to flow out. When this avenue gets blocked, the water accumulates at the point of the block and freezes over. So your ice dam prevention strategy needs to include routine cleaning and maintenance of gutters. Clear out debris like leaves and twigs that tend to accumulate over time, and ensure your gutters offer a clear route for the water to flow through.

3 Ventilate / Insulate your attic

A warm attic that lets out heat will trigger the melting of snow on your roof. The water created in the process is the starting point in the creation of an ice dam. Keeping your attic ventilated and cold will help you eliminate the reason that causes ice dams in the first place. 

Another solution is to insulate your attic floors to prevent the heat from your living spaces from permeating upwards. This heat will raise the temperature of your roof, leading to ice melts. You could also weather strip your attic’s edges to prevent the occurrence of heat loss. Contact any reputed Ardmore roofer or the best roofers in Ardmore, for assistance in professional-grade attic insulation. 

 4 Lay out heated cables

Your roof has warm and cold spots. The warm spots are where accumulated ice melts and turns into a trickle and the cold spots are where this trickle refreezes to form an ice dam. Laying heat cables along your roof in a recommended pattern, will help create a path for the roof water to drain off instead of accumulating behind an ice dam. The usage of heated cables will also allow you to equalize both your roof and attic’s temperature which will help prevent snow melts on your roof. 

Ways to remove ice dams:

1 Cool your attic

If the water from a snowmelt on your roof has made its way in, one of the ways to stop the leak is by cooling your roof from the inside. Direct a fan to blow towards the roof underside and this cool draft will eventually freeze the water on the roof. This will stop any further leaks into your home. 

2 Clear out the roof

Use a snow rake to remove the snow that’s made your roof its winter home. By doing so, you will eliminate future snow melts that later turn into ice dams. You could do this by both staying on the ground and also by using a ladder, to reach places that are otherwise inaccessible. You could even get a professional to handle this by looking up emergency roof repair service contractors in Ardmore, PA

3 Clear out the ice dams

The best way to clear out the ice dams on your roof is by using a rubber mallet and not a hammer. The sheer impact of a hammer will shatter the dams but also risk damage to your underlying roof. A rubber mallet blunts the impact and allows you to break the dam without the risk of damage.

Ice dams are as much a part of your winter as the Snowman. We trust the prevention and removal tips mentioned here will help you either keep away ice dams or control them from damaging your roof or home interiors. If you need professional assistance in this regard, feel free to get in touch with Hynes Roofing & Siding. We’re a GAF Master Elite roofing contractor and are reputed for our high-quality work when it comes to both roofing installations as well as repairs and maintenance. We’d be happy to suggest the best ways to keep your roof protected this winter.

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