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Silver Spring Roofing: Article About Winter Roof Protection

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A common problem that plagues many homeowners who live in climates that experience freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall is the damage that can result from ice dams that form on their roof. Ice dams can be a big problem, especially considering the hidden damage that can lead to the deterioration of various components of their roofing system.

Ice dams form when melting snow is not able to drain off the roof. As the water begins to drip down the slope of the roof, it hits standing snow and freezing temperatures along the eaves. The result is that the dripping water simply freezes along the roof's edges and forms an ice ridge or ice dam. As this process continues, melting snow can eventually lead to water backing up behind the ice dam. This water then works its way up under the shingles and, eventually, through the roof deck and into the home.

Experienced Silver Spring roofing contractors can help prevent these problems by checking the attic for proper ventilation. One of the primary reasons ice dams form is because the underside of the roof gets too warm.

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In climates that are cold and snowy, it is important to try and keep the underside of the roof as cool as possible. This is done by allowing warm air to vent out of the attic while bringing in cool air from outside. A reputable contractor can install vents in the eaves, soffits or attic to help ensure good airflow.

Another problem that can lead to ice dams is when there is not sufficient insulation under the roof. It is important for homeowners to make sure that the insulation in their attic and under their roof meets the recommended R Value for their area. When there is insufficient insulation, heat from the home's living areas can start to heat up the attic. This, of course, leads to the underside of the roof getting too warm and causing uneven melting of snow on the outside.

While good attic ventilation and proper insulation are definitely important in preventing ice dams, it is also important to seal any openings that could allow heat to enter the attic space. Homeowners should check around dryer vents, light fixtures or any other obtrusion into the attic and make sure there are no gaps. Not only will this keep the attic cool and prevent the formation of ice dams, but it can help keep the home more energy efficient.

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