We’re smack dab in the middle of winter, and with that comes a lot of snow and frigid temperatures. But in addition to shoveling your driveways and salting your walkways, it’s also necessary to make sure your eavestroughs are not accumulating any ice, which can cause damage to the system as well as other components of your home. And one issue that you may encounter throughout the winter months is a situation calling “ice damming.”
Are your eavestroughs creating ice dams? And if so, why should you take steps to rectify this situation?
What is Ice Damming?
Ice dams can form in your eavestroughs after precipitation gathers in them and freezes when temperatures dip below zero degrees. All those thick ice ridges can develop along the eavestroughs and edges of the roof. Any ice that has managed to melt from your roof can drain down to the eavestroughs and downspouts where it can freeze once again. The accumulation of ice creates a dam, which can prevent any more snow and ice melt from draining properly.
You should be able to tell if your home is plagued with ice dams if you notice any bulging ice on the edge of the roof. Also, any extra-large icicles hanging from the roof could also indicate an issue with ice damming.
Why Are Ice Dams a Problem?
If your eavestroughs are creating ice dams, this could pose a problem for your home. When these thick rods of ice sit on the edge of the roof, they can prevent water from running off, which can create pools of standing water on the roof. This water can then make its way under the shingles and seep into your home’s interior. If this happens, it can create major water damage inside your home.
Ice dams can also cause harm to the eavestrough system itself. The weight of the ice can cause eavestroughs to rip off and dent. Further, these ice dams can also compromise the roofing tiles. What’s worse, they can be a hazard to anyone who walks under them if they happen to break off at just the right moment.
What Can You Do to Prevent Ice Damming?
If possible, try to prevent ice dams from forming in the first place before having to adopt a reactive approach. To avoid any ice damming, make sure your eavestroughs are completely clear of any leaves or other debris. If your eavestroughs are clogged, they can cause a build-up of rainwater and melted snow. You may choose to have guards installed, which essentially act as strainers to allow water in the eavestroughs but keep debris out.
You can also help avoid this problem by preventing your roof from being heated up from heat coming from your home. To do this, you may need to make improvements in the ventilation system under your home’s roof in order to get rid of any trapped heat that is seeping in from your interior spaces. Installing some insulation to the floor in the attic can also help.
You’ll also want to seal any holes that you find, which can allow air leaks. Patching them up and adding some insulation can help prevent any air leaks from occurring, which can, in turn, contribute to ice dams.
Clear any snow that has accumulated on the roof, if you can. And if you see any dams already formed, they will need to be broken up and removed. However, this is not a job for the average homeowner. Instead, you’ll want to call in a qualified expert who is seasoned in issues with eavestroughs, such as ice damming.
If your home is vulnerable to ice dams – which can cause a lot of damage to your roof and home down the road – be sure to call in Tip Top Trough, your trusted eavestrough specialists.