If you have rain gutters on your home and you live in a climate where the temperature drops below freezing, you can have a problem with ice dams. When the temperature freezes, the snow or ice in your gutters can freeze solid, blocking the path for runoff. When the weather warms up enough to melt the ice, the top layer will melt first and back up onto the roof. If there is a freeze again, the ice and water can go underneath the shingles or other roofing material you have on your roof. When this happens, the water can leak into the house, which will in turn cause water damage to your insulation, ceilings and walls. There are a few products on the market that can help prevent this problem and by preventing ice dams, you will save money by preventing costly water damage inside your home.
The first way to prevent this damage is to make sure you have proper insulation and ventilation in your
attic. Having the right system in your attic will help eliminate hot spots on the roof that will allow the snow and ice up there to melt unevenly.
Another nice prevention tool is the use of heat tapes. This is a set of tape or cables that include electric heating wires that go along the edge of your roof just above the gutters and in the gutter itself. The heat will keep the snow and ice freezing solid and building up, in and around the gutters. The heating wires also help keep the gutters working properly by eliminating water from backing up onto the roof.
There are other products that you can have installed if you are putting on new roofing or are constructing a new home. These materials go directly onto the wood decking, running along the edges, and creating a water tight seal under the roofing material. This will not prevent the ice dams from occurring, but they will help prevent water from leaking into your home from the ice dams.
Your roofing contractor can help you to assess the potential problems with ice dams. He then can guide you with getting gutter ice dam prevention devices on your home. Proper prevention of your investment will save you a lot of money and heartache from the elements.
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