- Feb. 19, 2019
-- JTR Roofing Inc. wants homeowners to be aware of the damage winter weather can do to roofs, specifically by ice dams. The Twin Cities and entire Midwest has been hit with subzero, arctic-like temperatures in addition to snow and ice. This takes its toll on area homes. It's important for homeowners to keep an eye on their roof to avoid ice dams and other roof damaging occurrences. JTR Roofing wants to offer some winter tips to protect homes and roofs this winter.
Area residents should be aware of what an ice dam is and what causes it, since they can be a common occurrence in this part of the country. Ice dams form on slanted roofs when heat from the attic causes snow on the roof to melt.
The snow on upper parts of the roof melts when the roof temperature gets above freezing, while the lower edge of the roof remains below freezing. The water from above flows down the roof and freezes when it reaches the edge of the roof where it comes in contact with the colder air. This prevents the water from draining off the roof. Water then builds up behind the ice dam where it can seep under shingles and into the house.
Homeowners can tell their roof has an ice dam when when there are numerous icicles hanging from the roof. There may also be ice in the gutters or downspouts, further blocking water and causing it to back up into the house.
Ice dams are often caused by a warm attic. Therefore, the key to preventing them is to keep the attic and roof cold. This is done with proper insulation and ventilation in the attic. When the attic is properly insulated, warm air is not able to escape through the roof, thus causing the snow to melt. Proper insulation is key. An insulation with a high R-value will help reduce heat loss by conduction. Proper ventilation is also important to allow heated air to escape in a controlled manner that will keep the roof cold.
Aside from making sure the attic is properly insulated and ventilated, homeowners can take some precautions when snow is on the roof. Using extreme caution, homeowners can use a snow rake to remove snow from the roof. If an ice dam has already formed and water is leaking into the house, residents should call a professional contractor to steam it off.
If left untreated, ice dams can do extensive damage to the roof and the inside of the house. Prevention is the best medicine in this case, but if damage is done by an ice dam or other winter calamity, a roofing contractor should be contacted to make repairs. Many times these will have to wait until the spring, but it's never too early to get on a busy roofer's schedule!
JTR Roofing specializes in roof repair and installation. They also offer attic insulation to prevent ice dams. Other construction services they provide include remodeling, decks, window replacements, siding, gutters, soffit and fascia. They work on both residential homes and commercial buildings. In business since 1992, they are locally owned and operated. To learn more about winter roof care, visit their blog at https://www.jtrroofinginc.com/2019/02/15/how-to-prevent-ice-dams-and-roof-damage-this-winter/