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The Danger Of Ice Dams And How To Protect Against Them

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Winter is right around the corner and so is the snow New Hampshire residents are all too familiar with.

Along with the heavy, wet snow, you also need to be aware of the health of your roof. With the snow comes the danger of ice dams forming. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms along the edge of a roof and stops the melting store from draining off the roof into the gutter. If left unchecked, an ice dam can cause a backup of water that could leak into your home, causing roof damage and water damage to your insulation, walls, ceilings, or other areas.

As a homeowner, here is what you should know about ice dams to protect your roof and home this season.

What Causes Ice Dams?

There are three main conditions that work together to form an ice dam, including:

  1. Amount of heat loss from your house
  2. Amount of snow cover on the roof
  3. Outside temperatures

An ice dam can form when the temperature of the upper part of your roof goes above freezing. This happens as heat has risen into the attic space and warms the roof. The rise in heat could also be caused by warmth from chimneys or bathroom exhaust systems running up through the attic to the roof. As the snow melts in the warmed areas of the roof, the water runs down the roof where it freezes into an ice dam when it reaches the colder sections of the roof.

How Can You Prevent an Ice Dam from Forming?

It is possible to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof through these steps.

  • Improving the insulation in your attic to reduce the amount of heated air leaking in from living spaces
  • Improving the ventilation of your roof to maintain a uniform temperature
  • Upgrading the components of your roof, including roofing underlayment and making needed repairs to prevent leaks
  • Roof shoveling when heavy snow has accumulated on your roof

Do not risk your or your family’s safety this winter with residential roof snow removal. Call J. Carnes & Son Roofing at (603) 686-7763 for residential roof snow shoveling and roofing solutions to prevent ice dams.