Common Causes Of Ice Dams And How To Prevent Them From Forming On Your Roof In Westmoreland County, PA

Ice dams are a common problem that many homeowners in Westmoreland County have to deal with. They usually form on the roof and may cause water damage to your home. They are often caused by trees, shrubs, or even roof overhangs. This article will help you learn some of the common causes of ice dams and the best ways to prevent them from forming on your roofing.

Common Causes Of Ice Dams And How To Prevent Them From Forming On Your Roof In Westmoreland County, PA

Common Causes Of Ice Dams And How To Prevent Them From Forming On Your Roof In Westmoreland County, PA

When the temperature drops and the precipitation starts, ice dams begin to form on the roofs of homes across the country. This happens when water tends to accumulate between the shingles on the roof in Westmoreland County. Ice dams cause damage to your roof and gutters and the interior of your home. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.

Causes of ice dams

You know that ice dams can be a big problem. They cause roof damage and even water damage to your attic. Here are the most common causes of ice dams on roofs:

Snow buildup on your roof

Snow build ups can melt slightly and then refreeze as it reaches the cold eaves of the roof. The heat from inside the home can cause this to happen.

Lack of ventilation in the attic

Poor attic ventilation allows heat from inside your home to escape through the attic and warm-up snow on your roof. If this happens often enough, you will get an ice dam forming at the cold eaves of your roof.

Lack of Insulation

Proper insulation in your attic is crucial in preventing ice dams. Often during construction, roofers cut corners by using less insulation than the code requires, or they use inappropriate materials or methods to install it. However, even perfectly installed insulation can settle and become less effective over time, so it should always be checked every few years.

Improper Ventilation

Vents allow cold air into your attic, which helps stabilize your attic's temperature close to the outside temperature. If your attic is poorly ventilated, warm indoor air escapes into your attic and melts snow on the roof. Therefore to have proper ventilation on your roof, you must involve a professional roofing contractor.

Clogged gutters

Clogged gutters can prevent melted snow from draining off your roof properly, which can lead to large amounts of water pooling on different areas of your roof instead of pouring off. This can cause those areas to heat up and melt snow that is not directly above them, resulting in ice dams.

Effects of ice dams on your roof

These are some of the effects of ice dams:

Water Damage

The biggest problem with ice dams is water damage. When an ice dam forms, snow will melt above it and then run down over it. But when that water reaches the bottom edge of the roof, it will refreeze, creating a build-up of ice called an “ice dam.” This will stop further melting snow from draining off the roof.

Injury to Your Roof

When ice builds up on a roof, it can expand into cracks or openings in the roofing system. It can also push shingles off their perch, creating gaps that more water can seep into. Get a roofing contractor to conduct all inspections on your roof each year.

Roof leaks

Roof leaks can be devastating, causing the spread of mold and bacteria inside your home. If your roof leaks, water will eventually seep through your ceilings and walls, causing them to warp. This can also lead to toxic mold growth that can cause health problems for you and your family. In addition, wet insulation will also lose its insulating power as it begins to sag and hold moisture. This will cause heat transfer and energy losses during colder months.

Shingle damage

One of the most common causes of ice dams is the use of low-quality shingles on your roof. These shingles cannot withstand extreme temperatures and begin to decline in quality as soon as they are installed on your roof. Suppose you notice shingle damage or missing shingles around the edges of your roof, where ice typically forms. In that case, you should replace those shingles immediately before ice dams form again this winter. If left untreated, these damaged shingles can become a perfect base for water to pool on, leading to ice dams and further damage when snow accumulates on your roof during the winter months.

The best ways to avoid ice dams on your roof

Ice dams form when snow on the roof melts and refreezes, then backs up and causes water to pool behind it. The situation worsens as more snow melts, pushing the ice barrier further up the roof. Pools of water can back up under shingles, or even under siding and into your house. Here are the best ways you can prevent ice dams from forming:

Insulate your attic

Insulation will help keep the heat in your home, which in turn prevents snow on your roof from melting too quickly. This will prevent ice dams, but it also can save you money on your winter heating bills.

Seal attic air leaks

Air leaks aren’t just problematic in summer and fall; they can also be a problem in winter. When warm air escapes into the attic through recessed lighting, plumbing chases, and other places where air can enter the attic, it will melt the snow on your roof. You’ll keep warmth inside your home by sealing these air leaks and preventing ice dams from forming. Professional roofers can perfectly do this.

Install roof and soffit vents

If you have a vented roof assembly, be sure that the roof vents are open to let cold air through to the attic to lower the temperature of your roof deck. If you have closed-cell spray foam insulation in your attic without an open-cell top coat to allow ventilation, consider installing soffit vents to help balance out the temperature of your roof deck.