We don’t get a lot of snow in Vancouver, WA and the Portland metro area, so ice dams are not often a common problem our customers have to deal with. However, not all homes in the PNW are exempt from icicles forming on the edge of their roofs.
Although our region doesn’t get much snowfall, even just a little snow or freezing rain combined with warmer temperatures can lead to ice dams. Ice dams are the result of ice building up near the edge of your roof. It’s caused by snow or ice melting on your roof and refreezing before it can fully shed away from your roof. Ice dams and icicles may lead to further roof damage by seeping underneath your shingles and leaking into your home. Signs of ice dam leaks are peeling paint, water stains on your drywall or ceiling, and rotting wood underneath your roof.
Well-insulated attics are vital to maintaining the temperature in your attic and preventing hot or cold air from escaping through your roof. Not only can insulation help prevent ice dams from forming on your roof but it can also prevent your utility bills from skyrocketing in extreme cold or hot weather. Have your insulation inspected annually for any gaps, rips, or moisture.
Nowadays, it’s a given for newer homes to have roof vents to keep the attic properly ventilated. However, there are still some older homes where kitchen and bathroom vents lead straight into the attic instead of outside the home. Vents that lead into the attic will raise the temperature, leading to potential ice dams when it snows. If you’re unsure where your house vents lead to, call a professional roofer for an inspection.
Any debris or leaves stuck in your gutter will prevent water from flowing away from your home. Instead, it will cause the water to sit and freeze right in your gutter. Not only will this lead to an ice dam in freezing temperatures, but it can also cause damage to your gutter. The weight of ice can even rip the gutters off your home, creating further damage to your roof. The end of fall is an ideal time to clean out your gutters as part of your roof winterization checklist.
If you’ve ever noticed icicles on the edge of your roof in the past, now is a good time to think about how to prevent ice dams on your roof this year. It’s also a good idea to consider how to prevent ice dams if you live further north where there is a little more snowfall. Prevention is always the best way to avoid damage to your roof and home; don’t wait until ice has built up on your home to deal with it!
Ice dams are not the only roofing issue that can ruin your holiday. Even if your home has never had an ice dam, it’s still important to winterize your roof and get an inspection before the colder months are upon us. Call IBEX Roof today to schedule a roof inspection at 360-218-3194. The best thing that can happen is your roof is in great shape and you’ll have peace of mind this winter!