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Silver Spring Roofing: Article About Ice Dams

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An ice dam is a block of snow or ice that forms at the edge of the roof. Ice dams are formed when the snow that is on the roof melts and refreezes. While the ice dam may not seem like a big deal, they cause buildup of snow and moisture on the rooftop and can cause leaks, sagging gutters and even damage to the roof materials. Because of the massive amount of damage that ice dams can cause, homeowners should contact their trusted Silver Spring roofing contractor to determine what the best solution is.

During the winter, the heat generated within the living space escapes through the attic to the roof structure. This causes the snow or ice on the roof surface to melt and run off. However, if the heat does not dissipate throughout the entire roof structure, the melted snow refreezes over the overhang, forming a block of ice. This block of ice traps the melting snow and water, which may then leak into the home's walls and ceilings.

There are several quick fixes that can be done to reduce an existing ice dam, though this does not fix the underlying problem. A professional roofer may attempt to break the ice dam apart using a mallet. This method may potentially cause damage to the shingles even when done safely.

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They may also use a special ice melter made from calcium chloride. This will not prevent future ice dams from forming, but it may reduce potential damage until the real issue can be addressed.

Ice dams are a product of poor attic attic ventilation or insulation. As such, the best course of action for homeowners who are looking to fix the problem is to eliminate the sources of heat in the attic. Depending upon the extent of the problem, a professional roofer may inspect the attic space and roof to determine if enough insulation has been installed. If there is none, they may install insulation to reduce the amount of heat that escapes the living space. They may improve the ventilation in the attic space by adding vents between the roof sheathing and the ventilation. Finally, they may be able to locate areas in the roof where warm air is leaking through and seal the holes.

Updating a roof so that it is less likely to form ice dams can potentially have some cost involved. However, because the formation of ice dams may cause serious or even irreparable damage, it is recommended that homeowners make these improvements as soon as they are able.

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