Packed snow and icicles on the roof may conjure charming visions of the holidays, but these actually pose a danger to the roof – especially when they start to melt. Ice dams, in particular, can damage the roof and cause its premature wearing.
Affordable Roofing Systems, your residential roofing expert, discusses how to deal with melting ice and snow on the roof.
Why Ice Dams Form and Packed Snow Melts Unevenly
The presence of ice dams or melting packed snow is actually the result of a problem with the attic ventilation and insulation. When this happens, warm air that’s supposed to evenly escape from the roof vents instead makes the top portion hotter than the rest of the roof.
The snow melts at the top of the roof, then the runoff freezes again once it reaches the edge since this part of the roof is colder. The melting snow soaks the shingles and once it becomes an ice dam, it puts unnecessary weight on the edge of the roof, which will often necessitate extensive roof repairs. It’s not just the weight that’s the problem; it’s also the way the dam forces water to back up and enter the shingles.
How to Avoid Unevenly Melting Ice
Fortunately, there are many ways you can prevent packed snow from melting unevenly and turning into ice dams. The simplest but not so easy way is by keeping the attic temperature similar to the outside temperature through proper ventilation and insulation. Warm air that escapes easily out of your attic will not cause the top portion of your roof to become too hot.
It’s also a good idea to clean the roof surface before the snow starts packing. Twigs and leaves may seem harmless, but they tend to absorb moisture as they rot. This rot will eventually spread throughout the shingles, and this will occur faster as the packed snow presses them tightly on the roof.
Finally, clean the gutters. Anything that prevents water from properly flowing off the roof will cause ice dams, even if the attic temperature is well regulated. Keep the gutters free of clogs to minimize the likelihood of ice dam formation.
As your residential and commercial roofing expert, Affordable Roofing Systems will help keep your roof in good condition this winter season. Call us today at (813) 400-2515 or contact us here to learn more about our services. We offer roof repairs and replacement services in Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL.