There is a lot of misinformation out there about how and why an ice dam forms, and what can be done to prevent them. Here are just a few myths relating to ice dams and the truths that might help you better understand ice damming.
Myth #1: An ice dam is easy to spot from the ground
Most ice dams do build up along the bottom edge of the roof (at the eaves and gutters) where they’re easy to spot. But they can occur in other areas as well. Low-pitched areas such as valleys and shed gables also see ice dams form. As well as areas where there are roof penetrations like chimneys or skylights.
Myth #2: You only need to worry about ice dams if there has been heavy snowfall
While heavy snow can cause ice dams to form more quickly, it takes a very small amount of moisture for an ice dam to form. Even a light dusting of snow can cause bad things to happen. So don’t drop your guard just because there hasn’t been much snow.
Myth #3: You shouldn’t attempt to shovel snow off your roof and gutters
We always recommend clearing the bottom two-foot band of snow and ice around the edge of your roof. And clearing gutters as much as possible to allow melting snow to flow freely off the roof. When snow and ice build on the roof in the overhang, this blocks any new melt from flowing off the roof. This causes it to back up under the upper shingles and penetrate the roof deck. Clearing as much as possible is not a perfect solution but will prevent many issues.
Myth #4: The more insulation, the better
An over-insulated attic can prevent proper ventilation. And if air leaks haven’t been addressed, all the insulating benefits will be canceled. That is why it is essential to seal all holes, gaps, and cracks in the attic. Plus ensure there is a sufficient amount of insulation and adequate attic ventilation.
If you need roof repairs due to ice dams, or you want to take precautions to keep them from forming, give Muth & Company a call at (614) 682-3060. Our roofing experts will be happy to repair your roof and give you tips on how to prevent ice dams in the future.