During winter, it becomes harder for people to observe, address and prevent damage to their roofs. Not coincidently, however, winter is a time of year when several key issues could develop on residential roofing and cause a variety of different damages where they’re present. One such problem that seems to take shape sooner rather than later when it comes to wintertime roofing woes is ice damming.
Ice damming occurs when water on a roof cannot be properly removed from the roof before it freezes, causing the expanding ice to push up shingles and create moisture issues for the underlying roofing components. Generally, this problem will begin to take shape in late fall, when freezing rain is probable and will worsen in severity as winter goes on and more accumulated ice has time to develop.
Ice damming may be a major issue, but thankfully, it’s also one that’s easily preventable with the right gutter installation services in Ambler, PA.
Preventing ice damming
There are several key ways to preventing ice damming on your roof, but almost all of them pertain to your gutters and downspouts. These key implementations on your roof are chiefly responsible for jettisoning water away from your roof so that it’s not allowed to push back up onto your shingles, however if your gutters are compromised in any way, you’re more than likely going to experience freezing troubles.
The first and foremost thing to do is to evaluate your existing gutters and their ability to safely remove water from your roof. If they’re not properly installed, have buildups and blockages, or they’re suffering from damages, it’s time to assess their capacity to work as you need them to. Be sure to clean them thoroughly, replace any broken sections and, if required, consult with gutter installation services in Ambler, PA to have them wholly replaced if they’re bad enough.
If your gutters are in good standing and appear to be functional, the task then becomes to examine failure potentials. What this means is that even a working gutter system can create ice damming in certain circumstances, such as heavy snow buildups within the gutters—your ability to predict these issues before they become problematic is integral to stopping ice damming, even with a working gutter system.
One such solution to preventing gutter failures is to install screening atop gutters, to help create a drainage arc for melting snow and ice—this will allow solid matter to remain atop the screen, while liquids leak into the gutter where they can be carried away. Installing lipped gutters also serves to fulfill this same desired effect, since liquids will follow the curvature of a lip to drip successfully into a gutter system.
While the integrity of your gutters is paramount in keeping your roof protected from ice damming, it’s also very important to consider the status of your downspouts as well. If they become blocked, ice damming may still occur—and worse yet, if they’re not ejecting water far enough away from the foundation of your home, you might experience moisture issues in your basement or alongside the retaining walls of your basement.
Keep all of these things in mind this winter while you still have an opportunity to protect your roof from one of winter’s most costly issues. By recognizing the potential for ice damming and preventing it before it has a chance to occur, you’ll save yourself considerable damages come spring.