It has been a long and cold winter in Northwest Indiana, but fortunately the temperatures are starting to rise and warm sunny days are getting nearer. As the temperatures start to increase, so do the problems with Ice Dams. For those of you who don’t know what an ice dam is, an ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.
If your home or office has snow building up on the roof, there are several steps that you can take to prevent an ice dam from occurring. First you can remove snow from your roof after every storm. Use a roof rake to clear the first three to four feet of snow from your roof immediately after each winter storm. A good rule of thumb is if there is more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and ice on your roof, you should try to have it removed. You should also clear the snow around your downspouts. By keeping the area at the end of the downspout clear of snow, it will allow the water to properly drain from your roof and away from your house.
If ice dams are a continuous problem at your home or office, there are several long-term solutions for preventing ice dams. First you should properly insulate your attic. This will help prevent the melting and freezing cycle that causes ices dams to develop. You can also make sure that there are no air leaks from the house to the attic. When it comes time to replace your roof, make sure your roofer uses an ice and water shield where the first row of felt paper would normally go. This will keep water that seeps under your shingles from entering your home.
Finally, if you do have an ice dam that causes water to enter your home, you will want to remove any wet insulation and place buckets under the drips to prevent further damage. You should also call a reputable roofing contractor to remove the ice dam and repair any shingle damage. Once the water stops coming into your home or office, you should contact a professional water damage restoration contractor who will access the water damage and dry the affected materials.