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What are the Signs and Solutions to Ice Damming on Roofs During the Winter?

What are the Signs and Solutions to Ice Damming on Roofs During the Winter?

Ice dams are a common problem in the winter, and they can cause serious structural damage to your roof if they are left unchecked. RAM Exteriors, one of the top roofing contractors in Bucks County PA can repair the damage that an ice dam could cause, but you still need to be able to recognize when you have an issue in the first place.

Signs of an Ice Dam

Ice dams form when runoff freezes at the edges of your roof or in your gutters and causes water to pool. This tends to happen in roofs with poor attic insulation or with a lot of "hot spots" caused by vents. Basically, ice and snow melts in these warmer areas and flows to the edge of the roof where it freezes again.

Some of the signs of an ice dam include larger than average icicles at the edges of your roof, thick walls of ice in your gutters, leaks in your ceiling, and the telltale dark spots that can be seen with water damage. If you've had a particularly cold winter and you know that the insulation in your attic hasn't been updated recently, you should also be checking for signs of ice dams.

How to Get Rid of Ice Dams

RAM Exteriors specializes in roofing in Doylestown PA and can help you get rid of ice dams and fix the damage that they cause. There are still, however, a couple of things you can try on your own to keep an ice dam from forming on your roof.

First of all, make sure that your home has good insulation, especially in your attic. That will prevent warm air from escaping and causing snow and ice to melt on your roof.

Next, invest in a roof rake, which will be able to remove the snow near the edge of your roof. Use it after a heavy snowfall to keep the edges of your roof and your gutters clear. Heated cables that attach to your roof will also prevent ice and snow from freezing once it melts.

If an ice dam does form on your roof, you need to get rid of it as soon as possible. Chipping away at ice dams with a hammer or chisel can be bad for your roof even though it may seem like a viable solution. A calcium chloride ice melter is often effective in removing ice dams. You can carefully drill a hole in the dam and apply the melt, or you can carefully lay the melt across the dam on your roof if you don't want to take a drill or auger to the ice. Either way, this will help the ice to melt enough to allow water to flow freely from your roof.

If you’re looking to keep your roof in top shape, come to the experts at RAM Exteriors! Give us a call today.

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