Identifying Ice Dams

All Around Roofing: Trusted Roofers in Denver Colorado

Winter can be a beautiful time of year, but ice buildup can be a serious hazard to the interior and exterior of a property. Homeowners who see icicles forming along the edges of their roof may be witnessing the signs of an expensive problem. Contacting a professional Denver roofing contractor is the best way to deal with the ice buildup before further damage can be done to the structure. Ignoring the issue can cause serious damage to roof shingles, gutters and other roofing components.

Checking for ice dams on a home is a fairly simple process. The easiest, but most dangerous, way to check is to get on the roof to do a visual inspection. The problem from this vantage point will be clear, as a wall of ice blocking the gutters is easy to spot. Accessing a wet or slippery roof is generally discouraged, however. Thankfully, there are several other inspections homeowners can do to figure out if there is a problem with an ice dam. The attic can be checked for water leaks, ice or signs of mold. The top floor may also show signs of water damage or mold if melting on the roof is leaking through the shingles. Small imperfections in asphalt granules, for instance, can allow water to permeate the roof’s surface and infiltrate the decking and underlayment.

Like sleet in a winter storm, ice on the roof is formed through a melting and freezing process. Heating vents in the home are the main cause of roofing issues. When snow builds up on a roof, rising hot air from inside can melt the flakes. By the time this water trickles down the roof, however, the cold temperatures outside cause the water to freeze, forming ice. This ice can then block the water from further melting from draining properly through gutters and downspouts, forcing it to enter the home by going underneath the shingles.

Preventing these damaging ice formations from occurring requires proper roofing insulation and venting. By stopping warm air in the home from escaping, snow will only melt when the outside temperature warms up, meaning no ice will form. Not only will improved venting and insulation prevent ice dams, but it can also save homeowners a lot of money on their heating and cooling bills. Ice dams that can’t be prevented should be removed, but this can be a dangerous process. This type of maintenance procedure is best left to professionals who specialize in removing unwanted snow and ice buildup.

The roofers from All Around Roofing in Denver Colorado can answer any questions you have about insulation or flat roof systems. Ask a Question.