How Can Ice Dams Be Reduced or Removed?

Every winter, homeowners in the Atlanta area see their roofs tested by cold weather. Even with the smallest amount of precipitation, ice dams can form on a roof that is not well insulated or ventilated. To remove the icicles you see on the roof in winter — or avoid them entirely — there are precautions to take. Here is how roofers can help.

Preventing ice on the roof

If you see icicles forming along the roof line on or below gutters, you have a problem with climate control on or below the roof. Without proper insulation on your attic floor, heated air will travel up to the roof in winter. That effect creates hot spots near the peak of the roof. Once even a small amount of snow hits a heated patch of roof, it will melt and run down the roof until it hits a colder patch — the unheated lower part of your roof.

This cold water freezes and hangs off the side of your roof in the form of icicles and other ice patches known as dams. If you have this problem, qualified roofers will look at your attic to see if the problem is insulation, ventilation or some other factor. Any remedies will help your roof function effectively throughout the year, especially when the heat of a Gwinnett County summer hits.

Removing and reducing ice dams

Icicles along the roof line are more of a potential danger than an eyesore when they break off and fall to the ground below. Running water that gets blocked by patches of snow will wear away shingles, cause water damage to roofing materials or leak through into your home. In any case, you are shortening the lifespan of a roof and inviting other problems by ignoring the ice. Gutters may also become severely damaged when ice forms inside, as they are meant to handle water, not the much heavier form that occurs when it freezes.

There are several ways to remove ice dams once they have hit your roof, but beware of anyone working on the job who is not an insured professional. Chipping away at the ice can create holes in the roofing and make the problem worse. Ask for an inspection to determine whether steam removal or another technique is best for your roof’s situation. As always, preventive maintenance in the form of insulation and attic ventilation will help you avoid these problems in the first place.

Findlay Roofing will help you find the right mix of attic insulation and ventilation to protect your home. Act quickly when you see icicles to avoid major structural damage in winter.

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