Snow and Ice..... Two of your roofs natural enemies.
A heavy snowfall not only can take a toll on your back, but it can wreak havoc on your roof. Once the snow starts to melt, water will run down the roof and can refreeze when it reaches the colder roof edge, forming an ice dam. As the snow continues to melt higher on the roof the water trickling down will get blocked by the ice dam and cannot escape into the gutter. The water may back up under the shingles and can leak into your home, potentially causing damage to your walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. You may not even notice the damage caused by an ice dam until it is too late.
Why do ice dams form on some roofs and not others? This could be from several factors such as not having enough insulation in your attic; having poor ventilation allowing the attic to get too hot; radiant heat from the sun; or from fluctuating temperatures known as the freeze-thaw. Obviously, the weather is out of your control, so you will want to focus on what you can control to minimize the chances of ice damming on your roof.
The best prevention method for an ice dam is controlling the heat loss from your home. Consider long-term solutions by keeping heat out of your attic and promoting ventilation under the roof deck to keep it as cold as possible. The goal is to keep the underside of the roof deck close to the temperature of the exterior side of the roof. This will help to prevent your attic from getting too hot, reducing the snow melt on your roof.
Ice dams do not have to be large to cause damage to your home. If you have concerns about the ice dams forming on your roof, you may want to consider having them removed by a professional that uses the low-pressure method of ice dam steaming. For more information about ice dams and to find an ice dam removal professional in your area check out: https://www.icedamsteamingassociationforeducation.com/wisconsin/