Ice dams typically form when melting snow refreezes along the perimeter of the roof, clogging your gutters. If an ice dam is so big that water can't drain from your roof, it's possible for water to build up under shingles on your roof and eventually make its way into your home. Fortunately, you can have an ice dam removed before it causes the need for major roof repairs by calling a roofing company with experience removing ice dams. Also, there are several things that you can do to prevent an ice dam from forming.
Remove Snow from Your Roof
You don't need to climb up on top of your house to remove enough snow from your roof to prevent an ice dam. Instead, use a roof rake or a push broom to brush the snow off of your roof onto the ground. Remember, you need to get rid of the snow from the entire perimeter of your roof. When you're finished, you should have a snow-free border outlining the roof. You should try to remove the snow from your roof each time it snows; however, snow removal isn't as important if you only get a light dusting of snow. You shouldn't allow heavy snow to accumulate though.
Insulate Your Attic
When you insulate your attic floor, the heat in your house is less likely to escape through the attic. Because the heat isn't escaping through the attic, your roof stays cooler and the snow is less likely to melt while temperatures outside are still below freezing. Instead, the snow on your roof will melt as the weather gets warmer. Therefore, it won't refreeze when it reaches your gutters, causing an ice dam to form.
Cleaning your gutters and downspouts each fall isn't only about removing fall leaves so that your home's exterior looks clean. It's important to remove the leaves and debris from your gutter so that water can run off of your roof throughout the winter season. In addition to cleaning your gutters and downspouts in the fall, you need to make sure they remain clear through the winter. So each time it snows, remove the snow from the ground in front of your downspouts. This helps prevent any standing water from freezing, which will eventually cause a blockage. Also, you should knock icicles off of your gutter so that the freezing water doesn't build up -- just make sure you aren't standing directly beneath the icicle as you knock it down.
It isn't difficult to prevent ice dams from forming. As long as you keep your roof clean, your gutters clear, and your home well insulated, your home's drainage system should work properly. However, nothing guarantees an ice dam won't form, so if you do find an ice dam on your house, call a roofing company to have it removed before it causes major damage and you have to pay for extensive roof repairs. If you ever have questions about your roof's functionality or safety, contact a roofing company like Affordable Roof Care.