Ice Dams Got You Down This Winter? A Roofing Contractor In Barrington Can Help

There are many quick fixes for ice dams. In some cases, they are a random occurrence due to a particularly heavy snow that’s subjected to a freeze/thaw cycle. But if ice dams are a normal part of your home's winter décor, it’s time to find a roofing contractor in Barrington to put an end to them once and for all.

ice dam roofing contractor Barrington How Ice Dams Form

Ice dams are huge chunks or ridges of ice that form along the edge of a roof. They may also have icicles that hang down from the roof's edge. They can even form in, on, or over the tops of gutters, putting pressure on the gutter, pulling it away from the house. They form when the surface temperature of the roof is warm enough to melt the snow that lies on top of it. As the snow melts, it trickles down to the eaves, where the roof is colder. The colder surface causes the melted snow to freeze and form ice. As more snow melts and then re-freezes, an ice dam forms. Flat roofs or roofs with a very small pitch are especially prone to ice dams, but they can occur on any type of roof.

Ice dams are trouble because they can cause water to back up under the shingles and infiltrate the home. Water can travel very far from its entry point, which means even a relatively contained ice dam could cause interior damage far from the site.

Preventing Ice Dams Before The Start

If ice dams happen frequently on your home, there are several actions you can take. Usually a combination of insulation, ventilation, sealing, and roof protection are used to prevent dams from forming.
  • Attic Air Temperature. The major reason ice dams form is because the attic is too warm in relation to the outside air temperature. The goal is to regulate the attic temperature to minimize the freezing and thawing cycle. This can be accomplished in a few different ways:
  • Insulation helps keep your home warmer, but if it's installed in the wrong place or not enough is used, it can allow heat to transfer through the roof. The key is to provide enough insulation that this type of thermal convection does not occur.
  • Airflow is key to regulating the temperature of the attic. Soffit or under eave vents, ridge vents, dormer vents, and gable vents work in conjunction with one another to pull cooler air in through the soffit vent and expel warmer air through a ridge, gable, and dormer vents. This helps keep the attic air closer in temperature to the outside air.
  • If air leaks from the finished area of the home into the attic, it can heat the attic up just enough to promote ice dams. Sealing these areas inside the home will reduce this air transfer. Common points of entry are whole house fans, attic access doors, bathroom fans that vent into the attic, plumbing and ductwork.
  • Drip-edges installed at the eaves can help facilitate drainage and water barriers can be installed under the shingles to provide additional protection against moisture infiltration. Finally, a snow or roof rake can be used to remove snow from the edges of the roof, but you'll need to do this after every significant snowfall to gain any benefits.

Contact A Roofing Contractor In Barrington For Help

If ice dams are a problem on your roof, contact a roofing contractor in Barrington, like Erdmann Exterior Designs. We offer free on-site consultations to evaluate your situation and develop a plan of action. There's no reason to wait for a thaw or for spring to arrive. In fact, when an ice dam is the problem, it's actually better for us to conduct the inspection while the ice dam is there.

Contact Erdmann Exterior Designs at 1-847-357-9607 to learn more about our roofing products and services.