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Ice Dams 101

Ice dams sometimes form on sloped roofs in environments with freezing and sub-zero temperatures. When the temperature in your attic is above freezing, it causes snow on the roof to melt and run down a sloped roof. When the snowmelt streams down and connects with the colder eaves, it can refreeze. "If this cycle happens over several days, the frosty snowmelt builds up and creates a dam of ice, and behind water will pool up", says a Portland Roofing Contractor. The pooling water can get back up beneath the roof shingles and possibly through the decking and seep into the attic or down the siding. The optimal weather conditions for ice dam formation is usually when the outside air temperatures are in the low 20's and below consecutively for many days with snow piled up on the roof. Reports show that keeping the attic air temperature under freezing when the outdoor air temperature hits the low 20s can decrease the formation of ice dams. Studies have also shown that sun exposure in the winter has little to no impact on attic air temperature. Instead, its the warm air from the living spaces beneath that penetrate into the attic that is usually the culprit in the development of ice dams. If you notice water staining on an exterior wall or onside on your ceilings where there is snow on the roof up above it, act swiftly and call a Portland Roofer to avoid potentially dangerous damages.

To further prevent the situation from getting worse here are 5 tips to evade further ruining your roof:

1. DO NOT remove snow often from the roof. It will possibly lead to premature shingle damage.

2. DO NOT try to chip away the ice of an ice dam. Again, it will possibly lead to premature shingle damage.

3. DO NOT install mechanical appliances such as water heaters in the attic, particularly in cold climates.

4. DO NOT use salt or magnesium chloride to melt the snow from the roof. These chemicals can erode your shingles granules and decrease the life of a metal gutter system. Drainage that carries a lot of these chemicals can also kill nearby grass, shrubs, and plants so it is best to stay away from them.

5. CONSULT a Portland Roof Repair Contractor for the best way to stop ice dams from forming and water damage to your home.


Posted by: Admin
February 28, 2019
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