Essential Information About Ice Damage & Backup

There are a variety of effects that wintry weather can have on your home, both indoors and outdoors. For starters, you’ll be acutely aware of any drafts in your home. You’ll also be spending more money on utilities, especially heat, and you might have to wash your floors more often if you’re tracking in sand and salt from outdoors. Your laundry will be more bulky, so you’ll end up doing more loads. And the list goes on…

Unfortunately, many of Mother Nature’s wintertime shenanigans can go completely unnoticed if you don’t know what to look for. When it comes to roofing, ice dams are one instance of these sneaky problems; over time, built-up ice can and will cause damage to a roof.

Here’s what every homeowner should know about ice damage to their roofs:

    1. Where do ice dams come from? As the temperature can rise and drop on a daily basis throughout the winter, ice and snow can be melting one day and refreezing the next. Ice expands when it freezes, so this can cause significant damage to homes and buildings. Ice dams are formed when cold temperatures cause the melting ice and snow to refreeze above the eaves of your roof. Over time, subsequent melting backs up under the shingles, pulling them apart and creating leaks. Leaks lead to interior damage. Ice dams are best to be dealt with before they cause additional damage and get up under shingles, clapboards, or trim. In addition, ice dams can be responsible for ruined gutters and interior wall damage.


    1. Can I do anything to prevent ice dams from forming? The only way to prevent ice dams from forming is to make sure your home has proper ventilation, drainage and insulation. That means clearing out your gutters in the fall, sealing up your attic so no warm air can get in, treating rust or mildew immediately, having your roof inspected regularly, and keeping your vents unblocked. Don’t forget to check around your chimneys, attic hatches, lights, pipes, and fans, as these are all very common locations for leaks. In addition, it’s always a good idea to prevent snow from accumulating on the lower portion of your roof – shovel it off if you have to, but be careful!


  1. Can I do anything to remove ice dams once they have formed? The best possible action that you personally can take is to LEAVE THE ICE DAMS ALONE! Call Richard Roofing to help, as an experienced roofing company like ourselves will know exactly how to work with your roof without causing more damage. Whatever you do, do NOT pull out your snow blower, shovel or blowtorch to use on your ice dams. It’s more than likely you’ll end up damaging the roof even more!

Call Richard Roofing today to find out how we can help you with any ice buildup problems at home or on any other buildings.

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