Icicles may be a pretty winter decoration to your home, but actually have the potential to cause a ton of issues. An ice dam is thick ridges of solid ice that builds up along the eaves of your house. Below, Schroeder Roofing and Gutters lays out all you need to know about ice dams, how to get rid of them, and what you can do to prevent them in the future.
Potential Harms of Ice Dams
Winter time is approaching in Colorado, that is why it is so important to be informed about ice dams and the potential harm they can cause to your roof. Below are some things that can be damaged when ice dams form:
- Your Gutters Can Become Loose or Get Torn Down- When the weight of that much ice builds up in your gutters, it starts to pull them down and apart from your roof. This causes leaks and damage to your gutters.
- It Can Loosen the Roof's Shingles- When ice dams start forming and sliding down your roof, it can destroy the shingles along with it. This make it more possible for leaks to form and other problems.
- It Can Cause Water Backup- When your gutters are backed up, it can cause water to pour into your house. This results in peeling paint, warped floors, stained and saggy ceilings, and soggy insulation in your attic.
How to Prevent Ice Dams
There are a few things you can do to help prevent ice dams from forming on your roof in the future. Here's what we recommend at Schroeder Roofing and Gutters.
- Install Heating Cables- Heating cables are installed in a zig zagged pattern along the your roof's edge. These cables equalize the temperature by heating it from the outside instead of blowing in cold air from the inside.
- Blow in Cold Air- Take a box fan into your attic and aim it at the underside of your roof where the water is leaking in.
- Installing Drip Edges- Drip edges are metal sheets installed at the edge of your roof. They are usually in the shape of an L. Installing drip edges will help prevent ice dams by directing water away from the fascia and into the gutter.
Permanate Fixes for Ice Dams
Here are some more things that Schroeder Roofing and Gutters recommends to permanently get rid of ice dams:
- Ventilate Eaves and Ridges: A ridge vent paired with a continuous soffit vent will bring cold air underneath your entire roof.
- Cap the Hatch: An unsealed attic hatch or a whole house fan creates a huge opening for heat to escape.
- Exhaust to the Outside: Make sure that your ducts that are connected to your kitchen, bathroom, and dryer vents all lead outside through the roof or walls, NOT the soffits.
- Add Insulation: More insulation on the attic floor keeps the heat where it belongs.
- Install Sealed Can Lighting: The old recessed lights give off a ton of heat and they can't be insulated without forming a fire hazard. Installing can lights will help seal it in.
- Flashing Around the Chimney: Bridge the gap between the chimney and your home by framing it with "L" shaped steel flashing.