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Gaithersburg Roofing: Article About How To Prevent Ice Dams

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Ice dams are one of the biggest challenges that homeowners can face during intense winter weather. An ice dam occurs when a large amount of snow accumulates on a home's roof. If warm air from the living area of the home rises to the underside of the roof, that snow can melt and start to slide down the roof.

That can become a problem when the melted snow hits the eave of the roof. The eave is the portion of roof that overhangs the side of the house. Since the eave doesn't cover any living area, it doesn't receive any of that warm air. If temperatures are cold enough, the snows can refreeze on the eave and accumulate as a large chunk of ice, also known as an ice dam.

The experts at Gaithersburg Roofing have seen ice dams do extensive damage. The moisture from the dams can cause cracks and holes in the roof's shingles. Also, the weight of the dam can do damage to the roof's support system.

Fortunately, there are a few effective ways to prevent ice dams from forming. First, a homeowner can work to remove snow from the roof as it accumulates. The safest way to do this is from the ground with a snow rake. If a homeowner notices that snow is melting and running toward the eave, he or she could use the rake to pull the snow off the eave before it has a chance to melt.

The roofing experts at Seneca Creek Home Improvement of Gaithersburg MD can assist you with any questions regarding roofing, siding or gutters.

Homeowners should avoid the temptation to brush snow or chip ice from above. Even if the homeowner has easy access to the roof, the risk of slipping and falling during winter conditions is so great that it makes the job very dangerous. An experienced professional with harness equipment could get on the roof and remove ice, if needed.

The other effective way to prevent ice dams is to make some insulation and ventilation adjustments. Better insulation over the living area of the house can prevent hot air from escaping up to the roof. That will reduce the chance of snow quickly melting. Also, ventilation in the attic will help any hot air escape through the side of the house rather than rising up to the roof.

Another effective method is to install a ventilation system that runs through the eave and the roof's ridges. These vents would pull cold air into the soffit and run it under the roof's sheath, which keeps snow frozen and in place until outdoor temperatures become warm enough to melt all the snow. An experienced roofing expert could help a homeowner implement all of these steps.

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