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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Let's Prevent Some Ice Dams

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

How Ice Dams are Created Know what to look for so you can prevent ice dams from forming on the roof of your home.

With the winter season here, we are preparing for frozen pipe burstings and water damage caused by ice dams on the roof. Ice dams are created when three components form the perfect conditions to ruin a homeowner's life. These components are a snow-covered roof, different temperatures at the top of the roof compared to the lower edges, and freezing temperatures. 

The Perfect Conditions Equals the Perfect Wintery Nightmares

You might be wondering how a little ice can affect the roof's structure. This happens when the snow melts from the warmer areas and pools on the roof 32F or below. The water then finds the cracks in the surfaces and openings in the exterior roof coverings, seeping into attic space. Sometimes it won't stop there. The water can flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the finish. 

Nonuniform Roof Surface Temperatures

There are some crucial tips that you can implement to avoid a bigger disaster. Ice dams are created when two different surface temperatures are on the roof. This means that parts of the roof have a heating source on the interior, causing the different spots on the roof to be warmer than others. Heat travels from the home to the roof surface in these three ways: conduction, convection, and radiation.

  • Conduction is when heat energy travels through a solid. 
  • Whereas convection is when heat/energy is transferred from rising air to your hand.
  • Lastly, heat/energy can be transmitted by electromagnetic waves known as radiation.

The best way to avoid creating ice dams on your roof can be achieved in multiple ways. These are some of the steps that the homeowner could do to prevent ice dams from forming: 

Limiting the Heating Source by Adding Insulation

As mentioned before, heat can move from the ceiling and insulation by conduction through the sloped portion of the roof. You should combat this critical access point by installing more insulation, precisely one with a high R-value per inch to keep heat inside the home.

Purchase A Roof Rake

If installing insulation isn't something you feel comfortable with, you could always hire SERVPRO; you can always purchase a rood rake. A roof rake is a tool you can use once the snow has stopped falling. You can extend the rake, which helps pull down access snow, allowing the roof to cut off the source of the damage.

If you find yourself in a winter wonderland of a mess, please reach out by CALLING US at 844-965-0001 or by calling the local Iowa City number 319-338-8550.

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