Are you worried about ice dams harming your roofing system? Do you know how they are formed? What can you do to prevent ice dams from causing expensive damage?

Ice dams are a common occurrence in the wintery season of Philadelphia, PA. You are probably quite familiar with the elongated icicles on the edges of homes. While these are pretty to look at, they present a clue to problems and potential damage to your roof

What Are Ice Dams? 

Simply put, ice dams are a blockage of ice forming on the edge of your roof. These dams prevent melting water from snow and ice from flowing freely through the gutters and to the downspouts. The variations in the temperature of your roof cause these blockages to form. The indoor heat rises through the ceiling, into the attic, then warms the roof’s surfaces. Snow from the higher part of your roof will melt, and flow to the lower section of your roof. Once it hits a temperature below 32 degrees, it will refreeze into an ice block. As this scenario continues, more ice is built up, creating a dam. 

ice dam Philadelphia residential roof

What Can You Do About Ice Dams? 

There are several things you can do to eliminate the ice dams from creating more serious problems. As soon as you notice some complications, it is best to address them before you incur costly repairs. We at Industrial Roofing Contractors are available to assist with all of your roofing needs in the Philly area, and can guide you on eliminating ice dams. 

Clean out your gutters

Leaves, plants, or debris could be clogging your gutters, preventing the flow of water. If you have a sectioned gutter system, perhaps part of the fasteners have broken, causing a collection of debris. You will notice icicles forming at problem spots in your gutters system. It would be wise to begin clearing at those locations first. Heavy snow and ice accumulated can be too heavy for the gutters to hold, and may begin to rip off the roof. As always, use great caution when on a ladder to clean your gutters. 

Use a snow rake

Your local hardware store probably sells out of snow rakes quickly as the winter season begins. It is wise to have a snow rake purchased as soon as the winter season approaches. A snow rake is an aluminum scraper attached to a long pole, used to reach your roof and gently pull the snow off. It is important to remove heavy snow so it can’t melt and create an ice dam. 

Please use extra caution when using a snow rake. The long pole can cause you to be unstable on your feet. And NEVER use a snow rake on a ladder. This is asking for trouble. Also, unfortunately, a snow rake should not be used on multi-level homes, as it can’t reach that high. 

Apply heated cables

This tip is something to consider before the winter season hits. Unfortunately, heated cables are difficult to apply once an ice dam has formed. If you are late this season, consider adding it to your routine maintenance schedule for next year. Heated cables are applied in a zig-zag pattern, allowing the changing temperature of your roof to stabilize for proper water dispersement. 

Add insulation

insulation services

Another wise option to prevent ice dams is to have your insulation inspected. Do you have enough? This simple task is the most effective way to prevent future ice dams. Most homes do not have enough insulation, so having your attic inspected is a wise choice. Insulation prevents future ice dams and can reduce your electric bills by keeping your heat where it needs to be. 

Ice dams are an indication of a deeper problem needing to be addressed. The professionals at Industrial Roofing Contractors have a 5-star review and 100% satisfaction guaranteed when it comes to the care of your roof. We have 24/7 emergency repair service to be there wherever and whenever you may need us. We’re committed to quality workmanship and customer satisfaction from beginning to end of your project, whether it be repair, replacement, or maintenance.