Preventing Ice Dams

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Preventing ice dams in winter is important for us here in Chicago. There are a few things you need to make sure you do so that your roof does not get damaged. Here we are going to run over some of the things you need to check so that it doesn’t happen to you.

How Ice Dams Are Formed

Ice dams happen when the roof has different temperatures under the roof. Generally, the top parts of the roof tend to get warmer than the edges. Snow on top of the roof starts to melt and then flows down to the edges. Because the edges are colder normally, the water tends to refreeze as the temperature drops. Little by little the water gets under the ice and starts to run under the shingles and into the inside of the roof.

When water gets inside the roof it can and will cause a lot of expensive damage. Black mold can form inside the insulation and walls, but it can also damage plaster and drywall. The cost to repair this type of damage can be expansive.

Improper Circulation

Temperatures can vary throughout the roof for various reasons. One of the main ones is because of improper circulation of the air. There are vents in the soffits and some houses also have ridge vents. It is more likely that the soffit vents can become blocked. These vents should be checked regularly to ensure that the temperatures remain equal throughout the attic.

Leaks

Many houses have chimneys and they are usually the culprit of the warm air inside the house to leak into the attic. Have the chimney inspected for leaks. You can also insulate the chimney with non-flammable insulation. Leaks can also occur in other places in the roof. If you can see light seeping up from the ceiling, you can have an air leak there.

Exhaust Systems

There could be many different types of exhausts in any given house. Lots of kitchens have exhausts. Normally there could be one (or two) for the oven and stove, possibly for the microwave also. Bathrooms can have exhausts that extend through the roof to the outside also.

Ways to Prevent Ice Dams

One of the ways is one of the most logical, remove the snow from the roof. You must exercise caution when doing this. Being on top of the roof carries its own risks (snow and ice can be very slippery). There are “roof rakes” and you can also use a push broom, but be careful not to damage the roofing materials. You also need to watch out for falling snow.

Roof heaters placed near the soffits and also help out. Pay attention to the manufactures instructions when using these. Improper installation could cause more damage than prevent it.

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Preparing Your Roof for Winter

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Preparing Your Roof for Winter

Preparing your roof for winter is something everyone should do, especially for us here in the Chicago area. The leaves are changing colors and the temperature is dropping, it is time to protect your roof before and after winter. We have some steps that we recommend to everyone to get ready for the wintertime.

Winterizing Your Roof

1. Get Your Roof Inspected

Have your roof inspected by a licensed roofing contractor. They not only have the eye for roofing, but they also know what problems are likely to occur and the problem areas. Another reason, if your roof has a steep incline, it could cause a slip accident. Your contractor will advise on what repairs might need to be made so that you can save money in the long run and avoid costly repairs after the winter months.

2. Clean Out the Gutters

Gutters should be cleaned throughout the year regularly. It is even more important during the winter months. Gutters clogged with leaves and other debris could cause improper drainage. This can lead to cracks in the roof because of the expansion and contraction of water as it freezes and melts.

3. Check for Proper Ventilation

Now that we know why it is important to keep the gutters clean, we also need to protect the surrounding areas. The Chicago winds are fierce and having branches rub and cut into the roof is a bad thing. Nearby branches should be trimmed to a couple of feet away and all of the clippings removed from the roof and your property.

4. Clear the Surrounding Area

Attics need proper ventilation in order to function in the right way. If there is not adequate ventilation, the hot air from the sun might cause additional problems. If the hot air cannot escape, the attic can cause some rooms to overheat. This can also lead to the ice and snow on the roof to not melt the way it should. This is what we mean by the water/ice not freezing and melting correctly and causing expansion problems.

At Davis Roofing and Contractors, we are more than happy to come out and give a free estimate to take care of your roof before the winter problems arise. Give us a call and let us worry about your roof during the winter time so that you can enjoy it like you should.

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