All of the meteorologists from around the world are saying that this year is going to be the coldest winter that most places around the US have seen in years. That means, even areas like Huntsville, Alabama are going to see frigid temperatures. This means that we may even see some snow and ice. While this can be fun to see now and again, it can wreak a lot of havoc on the roof of your home. Just in case this winter is as bad as they think it is going to be, we want to make sure you know what to do if you get an ice dam on your roof.
What Is an Ice Dam?
When you get snow or ice on your roof, eventually the sun begins to melt it. However, the cold air and the freezing temperatures will refreeze it very quickly. This thawing and refreezing often forms a bump of ice that gathers near the end of your roof, right before (or sometimes on top of) your gutters. This is the ice dam. What happens is, this dam gets started small, but each time it thaws a little and freezes over again, it gets bigger. Eventually, this dam gets built up to where anything that thaws behind it gets stuck.
Why Is an Ice Dam So Dangerous?
There are a few problems with ice dams. First, they stop the water behind the ice, causing it to sit on your roof and often causes leaking into your house. This can damage your roof, insulation, drywall, and so much more if it causes mold to grow in your attic area. Second, ice dams are heavy. They can pull off of your roof or push down the materials of your roof, causing damage as they do so. If they come off of your roof, they could pull some of your shingles down, too, and potentially pull some of your gutters down. Third, they can leave the materials up on your roof wet for an extended period of time. This means that your roof could begin to rot and you wouldn’t even know about it right away.
What to Do If You Get an Ice Dam?
Should you notice that your home gets an ice dam, what are you supposed to do? If you feel comfortable climbing up a ladder to your roof, then you can try and treat it yourself. However, when the weather is cold and the roof is icy, the best thing to do is to call in your local Huntsville roofing company to come out and help. For those that feel comfortable on a ladder or up on their roof, you can try one of a few different options to work with an ice dam.
First, you can try and use a blunt mallet to break up small bits of the ice at a time. Never use a sharp object or tool, as that will damage your roof and could cut up your shingles. Second, you can try clearing your downspouts and your gutters, as that can help speed up the melting of your ice dam. Finally, you can take an ice-melt that is made from calcium chloride and melt the ice on your roof. You never want to use rock salt, as that can damage your home. However, calcium chloride is safe to use on your roof for this purpose.
If you want help dealing with an ice dam on your roof, call in your experienced Huntsville roofers to come up and help clear off your roof before it can do any damage. This year may just be the one where snow and ice rule our area, so make sure you know how to take care of your roof!
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