While it may be attractive to look at, ice dams can cause damage to your roof and home and we encourage home and business owners to take a proactive approach to both their formation and safe removal during these cold winter months. Ice damming does not happen very often in Albuquerque, but it is a possibility.
An ice dam is a barrier that forms along the eaves of your roof that blocks proper drainage. Heat tends to rise, so if you have heat escaping into your attic there will be an influx in temperatures. This will cause the snow to melt on the ridge, but then possibly freeze again before it drains off of the roof, which will result in an ice dam.
DIY home maintenance and pre-heavy snow fall measures:
1. Attempt to conceal all the heat in your home and keep it from escaping into your attic. Specifically, you are looking for heat leakage that can be caused by wall openings, drywall gaps, rifts and openings around light fixtures, gaps in chimney, or air escaping from your duct work.
2. Proper attic ventilation is also necessary to keep ice dams from forming. Even if everything is sealed up well, some heat will still escape into the attic. Proper attic ventilation will ensure a uniform temperature throughout the attic space and will prevent the buildup of moisture from condensation.
3. To properly inspect, you can climb into your attic to take a look. This may be better to do in the cooler months as it will be very hot in your attic in the summer time.
4. Before the winter months, you can get on the roof and check to make sure that there are no cracks/deterioration in seals around penetrations or roof flashings. This will help prevent water getting into the home and causing interior damage.
After heavy snow fall, there are still a few steps that can be taken to prevent serious roof damage:
1. If you have a long enough broom, you can sweep soft snow off the roof while staying on the ground.
2. If you have a low-sloping roof or flat roof, canales and downspouts could freeze; you should ask a professional contractor what they recommend.
3. We DO NOT recommend getting on your roof when there is snow. It is very dangerous even on flat roofs. We recommend waiting until the snow has melted to get up there.
4. If water has formed into hard ice, do not use a sharp object such as a pick or shovel to remove it, this could cause damage to the roof.
Give our office a call if you have any questions or would like one of our representatives to take a look at your roof.