Dallas Roofing: Article About Preventing Ice Dams
Ice dams occur when snow on a roof melts, the water flows down to the gutters, and then refreezes there. This ice then becomes a clog in the gutter, and water flowing down from the roof backs up under the shingles of the roof. This causes water damage to the shingles, to the substrate, to the roof deck and eventually to the ceilings of the home. While not a common issue for Dallas roofing, it is good practice to protect any home from ice damming in the event of a snowfall. There are a few things that can be done to protect a home from ice damming, and it all starts with the attic.
Since ice dams require the snow on the roof to melt, their root cause is a warm roof. A warm roof is caused by warm air from the home escaping into the attic at a rate that the ventilation cannot disperse quickly enough. As a result, most ice dams can be reduced to three issues: insufficient ventilation, insufficient insulation and attic bypasses.
Insufficient ventilation can be remedied with the installation of new soffit vents and roof vents or with the removal of insulation which covers existing vents. Providing a means for warm air to escape the attic quickly keeps the roof cooler, and this prevents snow from melting off the roof in below freezing temperatures.
The roofing companies experts at Total Roofing of Dallas can assist you with any questions regarding residential roofing or gutters.
Insufficient insulation can also contribute to ice damming. Checking the insulation in the home for air leaks into the attic can identify problem areas. If there is less than eight inches of insulation separating the home from the attic, more insulation may be in order. To reach into all of the corners, hiring a professional to apply blown fiberglass insulation is often the best option.
Attic bypasses are structural problems within the home. Gaps in drywall, unblocked walls, cracks around light fixtures in the ceiling and other such problems allow air direct access to the attic. Even when covered with insulation, these bypasses represent weak points in the home's insulation system, and should be closed up to prevent ice damming using caulk or other roofing materials.
All of the above steps can be applied to another purpose: saving money on heating and cooling costs in the winter and summer. A well insulated home and well ventilated attic ensure not only roof health, but also help manage the costs of keeping the home livable in all weather.