A Frozen Threat

Ice Dams

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When you live in an area that is prone to winter weather, damage from winter precipitation can be a hazard.

What is an ice dam?

An ice dam is a wall of ice that forms at the edge of the roof, typically at the gutter or soffit point. When ice gutters form, they prevent melting snow from draining off the roof and away from the house. 

For an ice dam to form, three things must be present:

  • Snow on the roof
  • Higher sections of the roof’s external surface must be above 32°F
  • Lower roof surfaces must be below 32°F

When these factors are in play, snow will melt and the water will flow down the roof and eventually freeze – forming an ice dam.

What are the signs that I have an ice dam?

  • Your home has a history of ice dams
  • Icicles form on the edge of the roof or off the front edge of the gutter
  • Ice is coming through the soffit or forming behind the gutters
  • Water or ice appears on the exterior wall
  • Water is seeping through a door frame or window

What harm do ice dams cause?

  • Water from melting snow can seep into your house and into walls, ceilings, insulation, and other interior areas. The accumulation of ice (and having it sit there for an extended amount of time) can also cause or worsen wood rot. 
  • Ice dams can lift roof shingles up, allowing water to leak inside of your home and cause water damage.
  • Pressure and weight from the dams can pull off gutters, leading to structural damage.
  • If attic insulation gets wet, it can become ineffective, and even worse, creates the perfect environment for mold to form.

How do I prevent ice dams?

  • Have a roof inspection done to identify problem areas and make any suggested repairs.
  • Make sure all leaves and debris are removed from your gutters before winter.
  • Keep your attic cold and insulate the attic floor. Check for heat sources, including recessed lights, attic stair openings, ductwork, furnace or water-heating equipment, and bathroom vent fans that are not insulated.
  • Rake or shovel snow off of the roof before it freezes, if it is safe to do so. If you cannot do this, consider hiring someone to come and do it for you.
  • Install a water-repellent roof membrane.

If your home is prone to ice dams, it may be time to consider a roof replacement.

AmeriPro Roofing has over 18 years experience working in cold climates and we know how to manage and remediate the damage that snow and ice can cause to roofing materials. If you spot potential problems or have questions about your roof, please call us! Our highly trained professionals can assist you with all types of maintenance issues, from roof inspections and emergency roof repairs to complete roof replacements and new construction.

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“First of all, I couldn’t be happier with all the professionals at AmeriPro Roofing. For example, from the time they gave me my roofing estimate, to the way they explained every single thing they were going to do. As a result, their service was outstanding. And, the repairs went exactly as they promised, plus they stayed on schedule and answered every question I had. And I had a lot of them. Finally, they treated me like a human being, instead of a person who filled their quota.”

“We wanted to improve the look of our home with new siding. But, we had no clue what colors to use, or what materials would work best. Our contact at AmeriPro Roofing was so patient. And above all, treated us with respect and kindness. We had a lot of questions. And we got the right answers every time. I was nervous about this project, but the vinyl siding is beautiful, and the color we chose just pops like you wouldn’t believe. In conclusion, the service was worth every penny.”

“Our roof needed replacing, and I had called a bunch of other roofers near me. In the first place, some were really pushy. And others treated me like I was stupid. In contrast, the guy at AmeriPro Roofing was a total pro. In fact, he was a straight shooter, listened before he talked, and told me he couldn’t give me any kind of estimate until he did an inspection. After the free inspection, I was sold, and I figure to get another 30 years out of this brand-new roof. In any event, I couldn’t be happier with AmeriPro Roofing.”

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