So, you have an ice dam, now what? You obviously want to protect your roof from mold and rot, as well as premature wear and tear on your shingles. By now you should know what causes ice dams, if not, here is a little primer where we explore the basic science behind them. Fast treatment of this issue is key in ensuring there is no lasting damage. Follow below for more tips on how to treat and prevent ice dams to keep your home safe and dry.
Shovel Your Roof to Prevent Ice Dams
Ice dams simply cannot start without a source of heat to cause the excess water. When you shovel the snow and ice from your roof, you are creating steps for early prevention. While this step does not directly address the underlying problem, it can either ensure it doesn’t happen to begin with, or removes further fuel from it before they become much worse. This may be a difficult thing to do in tight towns like Somerville, MA, however, it is often necessary for any roofing system.
Short Term, Immediate Actions
Once you have raked the snow and excess water from your roof it is time to take steps to alleviate issues in the short term. These short-term steps relate to breaking up and partially melting the ice dam. Much care must be taken here to prevent damage to the shingles and exterior of the home. Do not use rock salt to melt, or sharp objects as these can do more harm than good. Furthermore, see this article for more tips on possible solutions.
Long Term Ice Dam Prevention
Long term options are your best bet for ice dam prevention and treatment. Since uncontrolled hot spots on the roof are the cause, it can be assumed that treating the underlying issue will help with further issues. Contact an energy or insulation specialist to ensure that your attic is properly insulated with no apparent hot spots. Also, ensuring that your chimney and attic are properly vented will prevent ice dams from getting a hold on your roof.
Ice dam prevention and treatment can be a difficult but necessary task for homeowners. Ensuring proper roofing ventilation and insulation of your attic can prevent a slew of issues from arising down the road. In particular, ice dams are more common in aging homes. In newer homes, roofers don’t often worry about proper roof and attic ventilation, as these issues are usually addressed and remedied during construction. However, aging homes are more at risk to improper ventilation as building codes have changed and new, more efficient products have entered the market. As a result, improper ventilation and lack of interior insulation are the primary culprits for creating ice dams in homes and towns like Cambridge, MA. For example, as a leading roofer in Cambridge, MA, we have vast experience with the lacking ventilation in aging homes. Finally, for more information about ice dam and prevention, check out this post on what causes ice dams in the first place.