An ice dam is an area of water accumulation beneath the shingles. It's sometimes found in the attic space and can lead to severe roof damage. They're caused by snow buildup that thaws, refreezes, and leaks beneath shingles and eventually into the attic before refreezing again.
Northern Virginia roofing contractors can tell you – those beautiful sunny days that call everyone outside in the middle of winter are good days to clean out your gutters and remove melting snow. This will help prevent ice dam formation. Or, if removing snow off your roof isn't exactly on your to-do list, give roofing pros in Northern VA a call.
Follow our 4 top tips to avoid damage to your roof this winter.
How Do Ice Dams Form?
Ice dams form when the weather fluxes between freezing and thawing, like overnight freezes and daytime thaws, or due to more considerable climate changes throughout the winter and spring seasons.
The most common climate where damming occurs is in the north, where cold seasons experience fluctuations between freezes and thaws between winter and springtime.
Snow that collects on your roof may thaw and then refreeze several times throughout the cold season. Without enough free runoff, it will eventually seep below the shingles and refreeze, causing damage to your roof and attic.
Think you have roof damage as a result of ice dams? Give professional roofers in Northern Virginia a call.
What to Do if You Suspect an Ice Dam
Hot spots and ice buildup (like icicles) signify damming. Remove ice with tepid tap water, remove snow, clean your gutters, and call your roofing northern VA specialists to inspect the problem and help you prevent further damage.
1. Maintain Natural Attic Ventilation
Allowing just enough air to escape from the attic space in your home is essential to avoid drastic temperature changes that lead to dams. Good airflow should be maintained in the soffit area, beneath the eaves, and through the roof venting.
Get in touch with a reliable roofing company in Northern Virginia to learn more.
2. Maintain Roof Insulation
The R-value measures how well an insulation barrier resists the conduction of heat. In the north, R-values between R-30 and R-38 are preferred to prevent heat loss from your home's interior during the coldest months.
Hot spots on the roof indicate that your insulation isn't doing the job and needs repair.
3. Remove Snow From Your Roof
Remove snow from your roof after every snowfall. Snow left on the roof can solidify and turn to ice, making it difficult to remove and more likely to lead to dams that can damage your roof.
Snow rakes have long handles, making removing piles of snow from the roof easier. It's highly advised to leave this task to a trustworthy licensed, and certified roofing company in Northern Virginia. This will prevent injuries or further damage to your property.
4. Keep the Gutters Clear
In the wintertime, it's essential to keep the gutters clear of leaves, sticks, and moss. Any buildup can lead to poor drainage, making snow, icy build-up, and damming more likely.
Preparing your home for the winter will help prevent ice dam formation.
Ice dams can happen in several ways, from leaking warmth from your home to specific weather conditions and uneven roof warming. Regardless of the cause of your dams, they're not to be trifled with!
If your home is at risk of a dam, follow these tips and call a Northern Virginia roofing contractor asap!