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Family time is great over the Winter Holidays and perhaps your family time included some ice skating at your favorite rink or pond in Ft. Collins or Denver. But, ice and ice dams which form on your roof can cause more than a little inconvenience, it can cost you money. Roof Worx, your Denver roofing contractor and help you with your ice dams.
So, you may be asking what are ice dams? Some parts of the country are more susceptible to ice dams than others, but Colorado is one of the areas that this is of great concern. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining properly into the gutter system. During periods of freezing, thawing and then refreezing, water becomes trapped above the ice and can find its way beneath the shingles. You will hear experienced Colorado roofing contractors, like Roof Worx; explain this as “water walking back up underneath the shingles”. Ice dams can actually lift the shingles which allows water to filtrate underneath them, work its way through the attic space with the end result being water damage to the interior of your home. As this process continues to repeat itself, the build-up of ice on the roof gets extremely heavy and can even pull gutters off your home.
While the icicles hanging from your gutters may shimmer and look festive just like in a Norman Rockwell painting, they are actually an indication that an ice dam is forming. Although ice dams can form on any roof simply due to the freeze-thaw cycle, there can be other causes as well. One of the largest culprits leading to ice dams is poor ventilation and temperature control in the attic space. Warm air from the interior of a home escaping into the attic space causes snow melt on the roof, even if the temperature outside isn’t warm enough to cause melting. You may have noticed when driving through your neighborhood after a snowstorm, that some of the roofs have hardly any snow on them while others are completely snow covered. That is because the warm air is escaping through the roof and causing the snow to melt quicker. When you see a home with less snow on the roof than the surrounding homes, you can assume that the energy bills of that home are more costly than their better insulated neighbors’ homes as warm air is escaping through the roof.
Below is a list of some Do’s and Don’ts when an ice dam has formed on your roof.
- Look up to see what’s happening on your roof. Too many times people arrive home and never bother to look up at their roof. In the winter, if you see a situation on your roof, never walk on a snow covered roof. Make sure that you work from a ladder to access/fix the damage or do an assessment.
- If you see an ice dam developing on your roof and you are unable to safely remedy the situation, immediately call your local Denver roofing company, Roof Worx. We service all areas along the Front Range including Boulder, Ft. Collins, Lakewood, Denver, Thornton, Highlands Ranch, and Castle Rock. Removing an ice dam can be quite dangerous so be sure to hire a company who is fully licensed and insured, such as Roof Worx.
- Remove snow from the roof. Special tools are used for removing snow by pulling snow down the roof slope to the eave edge. It is best to use a professional roofer so that the shingles are not damaged on your roof. It is recommended that you leave about an inch or two of snow on the roof which will prevent any accidental damage to the shingles.
- Chip away the ice, being careful not to damage the shingles, creating a channel which the water can flow through and stop the freeze/thaw cycle. Again, your Denver, Colorado roofer can assist you.
- Do not use salt or calcium chloride to melt snow off the roof. These chemicals are very corrosive and can not only damage the roof shingles, but can also be harmful to grass and plants.
- Check for proper insulation and ventilation in the attic. A Roof Worx project manager can assess the insulation and ventilation requirements for your particular roof and help you in correcting a situation which is contributing to ice damming.
Identifying ice dams promptly will limit the potential for costly interior water damage repairs to your home.
Contact your Denver roofing contractor, Roof Worx at (303) 353-1825 for assistance with all your roofing, gutter, and siding needs. Roof Worx is your trusted Denver Roofer, providing Denver roofing, siding, gutters, and free Denver roofing inspections. Give us a call today and let us show you the Roof Worx – Denver Roofing difference.