Ice Dams and How to Avoid Them

In winter, there are a few major issues that can crop up when it comes to the roofs of residential dwellings. Homeowners should consult with roofing contractors to prevent or mitigate these issues. But being informed is a private citizen’s first and best tool to combat these hazards to property. Today, we’ll talk about ice dams and identify what they are as well as strategies to prevent them.

What Is an Ice Dam?

Roofers in Utah, as well as any climate that receives periodically heavy snows, will agree that an ice dam can do serious damage to both the roof and the fabric of the home, itself. But what is it, precisely? When snow begins to fall, it does so across the entire roof. An ice dam forms at the edge of the roof and prevents melting snow or other precipitation from reaching the gutters or otherwise being channeled away from the roof. Over time, this process can result in costly roof repair or replacement of drywall and insulation within the home, because water will always flow down by any path available to it.

What Causes Them and How to Avoid Them

Ice damns are created when the temperature of the roof is non-uniform. In other words, when some areas are warmer than others, the distribution of frozen precipitation is uneven. A large concern of roofing contractors is preventing costly damage to property by helping to maintain the fabric of the roof and related structures. Insulation maintenance in the attic spaces and sub structure of the roof is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to prevent ice dams from forming during the winter months.

But some homeowners might not be aware of how this works. Essentially, when most of the living activities take place in a closed, heated space, moisture and warm air are carried upward by convection currents. They reach a space under the roof and can go no farther, which is why attic vents in the roof are essential. However, if the insulation is not to code standards, this warmth is translated into the roof itself as warm air seeks an energetic exit. This creates a temperature disparity and begins the process of ice dam formation.

However, it’s also one of the easiest problems to fix. As Utah County roofing contractors, we at First Call Construction want your winter to be a time of magic and memory creation, not costly repairs. A simple assessment is all that is needed to ensure you won’t encounter unexpected problems, which we are happy to provide. Contact us today at (801) 830-4642 for your free quote.