Think back to last winter. Did you get icicles on your roof? If you did, this could be an indication of a serious problem. Now that the end of summer is approaching, it's time to get your roof ready for winter. Acting now can help you prevent icicles from occurring again.
Why are icicles on your home bad?
Icicles are an indication that your home has an ice dam. Icicles themselves are not often a problem, but ice dams can be a serious problem.
What is an ice dam?
Ice dams occur when the roof heats up unevenly after a snow. Some parts of the roof will become warm enough to allow the snow to melt. When the snow melts, it rolls down to the eaves where the roof is colder. The snow re-freezes over the eaves and gutters and forms icicles.
Why are ice dams bad?
Ice dams are like water-flow traffic jams on your roof. Water that freezes on your gutters can create a backup that prevents drainage from occurring. As more water freezes in the traffic jam, it backs up onto the roof, works its way beneath the shingles, and eventually, jams up all the way to the sheath under the shingles. When that water thaws, it runs into the attic of your home instead of down to the gutters. Ice dams lead to water damage, leaks and more.
What causes an ice dam?
Ice dams happen because the roof is heating unevenly in the winter. This can happen because of poor insulation and inadequate air flow inside the attic. Drainage problems like clogged gutters can exacerbate the problem because they can stop the water from rolling off the roof.
What can you do about an ice dam?
There are several things you can do to fix an ice dam. To begin with, you can clean your gutters on an annual basis. Cleaning the gutters can help ensure that the water has a clear path to roll off the top of the roof.
You can also call a roofing contractor to inspect your roof. It's important to do that now, at the end of the summer, before the weather gets cold and wet. Your roofing contractor will be able to inspect your roof for damage, tell you how the damage can be repaired, and may be able to fix the uneven heating that's been creating the problem in the first place.
Contact an experienced roofing contractor in your area today and have him or her take a look at your roof.