Nov 11, 2019 | Roofing, Spouting

When winter arrives, snow and ice can cause trouble for your home. When they build up on your roof, they can cause damage that leads to problems in your home. If you want to stay warm and dry this winter, you should have a plan for preventing ice dams and piles of snow on your roof. Your plan needs to have the right elements if you want to protect your roof, which means you need to know what steps to take for ice dam prevention and to have a smart snow removal plan. Here’s what you should be doing if you want to protect your roof this winter.


All About Ice Dams

An ice dam occurs when ice builds up on the edge of your roof. They happen when snow piled on the roof melts, and the water runs off under the snow, turning into ice as it drains from the roof. Ice dams can lead to further problems, such as leaks in the roof and damage to your home interior. So it’s essential to prevent the formation of ice dams by controlling the buildup of snow and ensuring good drainage from your roof. If ice dams do form, it’s important to remove them as soon as possible.

Preventing Ice Dams

Preventing ice dams from forming is the best way to keep your roof system in good condition. The absolute best way to prevent ice dams from forming is to have proper attic ventilation and insulation. The professionals at Greenawalt Roofing can perform a free inspection to review your ventilation and insulation. Our team of experts will find out if your attic has the proper amount of intake and exhaust vents, the proper ratio of intake to exhaust so that air flows through the attic efficiently, and the proper amount of insulation to prevent heat build-up in the attic. Insufficient ventilation will allow heat to build up in the attic while an improper ratio of intake vents to exhaust vents may prevent warm air from escaping. And insulation is your first line of defense because it helps prevent heat from entering the attic in the first place. A secondary way to prevent ice dams is snow removal. 

Snow building up on your roof is a big risk factor for ice dams, so clearing your roof will help you to avoid them. Regular clearance of snow protects your roof and stops ice dams from forming, but you need to be careful about doing it yourself. It can be dangerous to get up on a ladder, especially with slippery ice around, and using a shovel or rake to remove snow can damage your roof.

Removing Snow and Ice

If you want to protect your roof yourself, removing snow before ice dams have time to form is best. Ice is more difficult to get rid of than snow, although piles of snow can still be heavy and hard to remove. However, it’s important to remove it because all of that heavy snow can put a lot of pressure on your roof. If you’re going to remove snow on your own, be sure to leave about an inch of snow on the roof. This will help prevent your shovel from contacting the roof surface, thus causing permanent damage. With the help from a professional, you can remove snow and ice dams safely and efficiently. Never attempt to remove ice dams on your own.

When You Need Professional Help

We recommend professional assistance for snow and ice dam removal from your roof. A light dusting of snow can easily melt and drain from your roof, or sit there without causing any damage. But as snow begins to build up, it can start to put more pressure on the roof and raise the risk of ice dams forming. You don’t want to remove snow from your roof every single day, and you probably don’t need to. Some will fall off naturally, especially if you have a very sloped roof.

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