How to Fix and Prevent Ice Dams on Your Roof

ice frozen over the edge of a gutter

When Is Roof Repair Necessary, and Why Should You Call a Johnson County Roofing Contractor?

If the Farmer’s Almanac is accurate, we’re in for a cold, snowy winter.

Prepare yourself now by learning how you can identify weather-related residential roofing conditions, like ice dams, and what you should do to prevent the damage they cause.

Without basic knowledge, you may not be aware of issues that could cause mold, mildew, dampness, and other problems from developing in the interior of your home.

Let’s explore what ice dams are, what you can do about them, and how our local roofing service – Vision Construction – can help.

What Is an Ice Dam?

When a ridge of ice forms at the edge of your roof and prevents melting snow from draining, you have an ice dam. Water backs up behind this dam of ice and can leak into your home, damaging ceilings, walls, insulation, and other areas.

This moisture can cause mold growth, mildew, and cosmetic damage. Over time, it can cause structural damage, too, as well as affect the integrity of the shingles on your roof.

What Causes Ice Dams to Form on My Roof?

If your residential roof has a nonuniform surface, you could be at risk of developing an ice dam. For ice dams to form, your roof must have snow on it, plus areas of your roof at varying temperatures.

The snow on the surface of your roof where it is above 32 degrees will melt, causing the water to flow down to the area of the roof where it is still below freezing. This is where the ice dam forms. Water backs up behind this ice dam, finding tiny openings where it flows into your attic space, and, eventually, down into the walls of your home.

Sections of your residential roof are likely different temperatures due to the heat emanating from your house. This is particularly true if you have uneven insulation in your attic, which allows heat to escape in certain areas, but not in others.

Take Action to Prevent Ice Dams with Help from a Johnson County Roofing Contractor

You can prevent the formation of ice dams by following simple do-it-yourself steps, and by hiring a roofing services professional near you.

Your first course of action is to remove snow from the roof using a roof rake or a basic push broom. Be careful during this process, as your shingles could sustain damage. Removing snow will prevent ice dams from forming altogether.

You also should ensure your attic is evenly and appropriately insulated. You may need to hire a professional, who can help you select the right insulation product. You’ll also need to seal air leakage between your living space and the attic.

In an emergency, in which an ice dam has formed and melting snow is leaking into your home, you can make channels through the ice dam to encourage draining. Do so by working upward from the lowest part of the ice dam, using room-temperature water on a warmer winter day. Keep in mind that this is a temporary fix, and you must address the root cause of ice dam formation to protect the integrity of your roof and your home.

Anytime you climb onto your roof for a DIY roof repair, you risk damaging the existing shingles. This is why it may be best to hire a Johnson County roofing contractor or other residential roofing service to take care of the issue. The same goes for storm damage repair near you; the pros know how to inspect and fix issues without exacerbating the problem or creating a new one.

Find Out If You Need Roof Repair Because of Ice Dams

To determine whether you need to have your roof repaired after a snow storm, or to find out if ice dams have caused damage, you need a professional to take a look at your roof for you. Climbing onto your own roof during the winter – or any time of year – is dangerous, so it’s best left to a skilled roofer.

Vision Construction will take a look at your roof for free. All you have to do is contact us to schedule a 21-point inspection and consultation. We’ll climb onto your roof and look at every facet of it, including your shingles, flashing, and around your chimney.

If we determine your roof needs storm damage repair, we’ll help you file a claim with your insurance company and perform the repairs or roof replacement.

Vision Construction is offering free inspections and storm damage repair near you! All you have to do is call us to schedule a no-obligation visit. Submit our form online to get started.