Every winter in Northern Virginia, many homeowners are plagued with an icy menace that causes numerous problems in their homes. Whenever the temperature drops, a frozen ridge or an icy barrier may form at the edges of your roof. Ice dams will build up through time and will eventually prevent melting ice from draining.

As the water backs up, it will consequently find its way through your roof, seeping through cracks and openings; and damaging the shingles, sheathing, rafters, gutters, and other sections of your roof. It can even get into your attic, ceiling, walls, and other parts of your interiors, causing rusts on drywall fasteners, peeling paints on walls and ceilings, and staining or rotting your door and window frames. And all these will eventually lead to costly repairs and replacements.

What Causes Ice dams

Ice dams form because of a complex interaction between the weather, your roof, and the heat from your home. During heavy snow storms, snow will, as expected, settle on your roof. As it accumulates, you will probably crank up your heater to keep the interiors of your home warm and comfortable. The heat from your interiors will eventually rise up to your attic.

Without sufficient insulation, the heat will consequently warm up some sections of your roof, which causes snow to melt and drain down the roof edge. But as the water hit the overhang, it will refreeze as this part of your roof tends to be the same temperature as the outdoors. This melt-refreeze process will continue until an ice dam forms at the edge of your roof.

How to Identify Ice Dams

Even though icicles are beautiful to look at, they pose an ugly threat to the inside and outside of your home.  Icicles form when air temperatures fluctuate enough for rooftop snow to melt and refreeze again in and over your gutters.  As the water backs up, it will consequently find its way through your roof, seeping through cracks and openings; and damaging the shingles, sheathing, rafters, gutters, and other sections of your roof. It can even get into your attic, ceiling, walls, and other parts of your interiors, causing rusts on drywall fasteners, peeling paints on walls and ceilings, and staining or rotting your door and window frames. And all these will eventually lead to costly repairs and replacements.

How to Deal with Ice Dams

When you notice some icicles forming at the edge of your roof, this could mean that ice dams may be forming too. That’s because icicles and ice dams form with the same conditions – snow, warm portions of a roof, and subzero temperatures.

What you can do is use a roof rake to clear snow off your roof’s edge. A word of caution from our experts in roofs and gutters in Manassas VA though, if you don’t have the proper knowledge, experience, tools, and safety equipment to do this, you should contact professionals like our team to carry out this risky job for you.

How to Prevent Ice Dam Formation

The key to effective ice dam prevention is to increase attic insulation. This will help cut down on heat loss through the attic and prevent snow on the roof from melting. Insulation, however, can’t do the job alone; you should also seal air leaks for a more effective heat loss prevention. Also, enhancing your attic ventilation can greatly help in preventing ice dams from forming, and a continuous soffit-and-ridge vent system is a great way to enhance your attic ventilation.

If you need help with any of these ice dam prevention projects, Peak Roofing Contractors, the top roofing, gutters, windows & doors, and siding contractors in Manassas VA and nearby areas is just a phone call away. Give us a call to know more about our company, products, and services.