All Around Roofing: Trusted Roofers Denver CO
Ice damming is a common problem on roofs in snowy climates. It occurs when snow melts off the top of the roof and then freezes again at the bottom around the eaves and gutters. An ice dam can lead to a variety of roof problems and costly repairs. It is much better to work with a Denver roofing contractor to ensure ice damming does not occur.
An ice dam can damage a roof in several ways. It blocks gutters and drainage along the roof edge. As more snow melts, water is held by the ice, pooling along the roof. This quickly leads to water intrusion and the host of problems that come with it. The ice also puts extra weight and strain on the gutters. This can break or deform the gutters and lead to drainage problems even after the ice melts.
Proper roof ventilation is the key to ice dam prevention. In the winter, warm air from inside the house may build up in the attic and warm the top of the roof. The snow melts but freezes again at the gutters when the warmth dissipates. Ventilation allows cool air to enter the attic space above the insulation layer, keeping the roof cool and preventing snow melt.
The attic can be vented in a variety of ways.
Attic and ridge vents allow the attic air to escape, while soffit vents allow cold air to be drawn into the attic from the eaves. Rafter vents, chutes or baffles create channels through the insulation between the soffit vents and the attic. This system of vents allows for easy and continuous natural airflow that prevents ice damming and several other problems at all times of the year.
Problems with ventilation are always correctable. A contractor will inspect the roof to identify the exact problem. Vents clogged by insulation or debris are one of the most common problems. The roof may also lack adequate venting for its size, so new vents would need to be installed. Additionally, a contractor may recommend a turbine vent or attic fan. These additions actively draw air into the attic to improve ventilation.
Since roof work cannot usually be done in the winter, the contractor may suggest a temporary measure. Installing heat cables is a common method. The cables heat the water and prevent it from refreezing at the bottom, allowing it to run all the way off the roof. Cables are energy intensive, however, and should only be used as a temporary or extreme measure when venting improvements are impossible or insufficient.