Some of the worst property damage that takes place in winter can often be traced back to an ice dam. Ice dams can result in considerable damage that can be costly to repair. As you can probably guess from the name, ice dams are ridges or blocks of thick ice. They form when snow or water runs into one spot or area of the roof, where it then freezes.
When ice dams form, they prevent snow and water from draining off the roof. This causes snow and moisture to build up and sit on the roof. The water (and snow that melts once the heat from inside home causes the roof to warm) then leaks into the home.
Most property owners don’t realize they have ice dams until it’s too late. (And even if they suspect ice dams have formed, it’s difficult—and often risky—to try and remove them in bad weather.)
The best way to deal with ice dams is to prevent them from happening in the first place. There are several things a property owner can do to avoid dealing with ice dams. The roof itself obviously plays a big role. Taking care to install a proper moisture barrier is a good way to protect from water damage and moisture issues. The key is to have a strong, watertight membrane protecting the entire roof area.
Another important element is insulation. The attic must be properly insulated to prevent heat from escaping and making the roof too warm. Areas around vents, recessed lighting and other access points need to be addressed, as they are a common issue when it comes to allowing heat to reach the roof.
Spray foam insulation, coating and roofing materials can be a valuable help in keeping heat inside your structure and keeping water out. At Intech Equipment & Supply, we have everything a contractor needs to apply these materials and make a home or building better protected against the elements, including the risk of ice dams.