Dam, it’s getting cold out there. So far we’re just seeing a lot of rain, but our mountain communities here in Colorado are already experiencing below freezing temperatures at night. This is great for winter sports enthusiasts, but for homeowners, frost and precipitation can spell trouble for your roof.
With the rise of moisture and the drop in temperature, October and November are prime months for homeowners to get a quick inspection of their home. Preparing your home for winter weather conditions can help you prevent roof damage and destruction. A major concern for homeowners here in Colorado is ice dams.
Ice dams can be extremely destructive to your roof and your gutter system, the two things you count on the most to get you through the winter months. A damaged roofing and gutter system can invite a whole string of troubles like moisture issues and toxic mold.
Avoiding moisture issues
Moisture issues are a homeowner’s worst nightmare because they can be expensive to fix and detrimental to the stability of your home. But, as with any problem, getting to the cause is the best place to start. So, let’s look at how ice dams are formed to begin with.
When the snow covers your roof on the outside, you most likely turn on your heat on the inside. This is what you are supposed to do. However, poorly insulated homes, especially in the attic will allow for heat to rise up, warming the underside of your roof deck and melting the snow on the roof. If the outside temperature is still freezing, the melted snow trickling down your roof will hit the freezing cold overhang and quickly freeze up again, slowly building up an ice dam that blocks all other moisture from escaping into your gutters, down your spouts and away from your home.
Moisture will start to build up under the shingles of your roof, finding it’s way into your home, instead of draining away. The ice dam basically works against your gutter system, blocking all moisture and pushing it back up under your roof.
Preventing ice dams
Prevent ice dams before they form by making sure that your home is properly insulated. This will allow for snow to fall on your roof, and for you to sit snug and warm in your living room without the two interacting and causing an ice dam to form.Make sure your flashing system is in good working order so that any moisture falling from your roof is caught and disposed of before causing any damage. The goal is to get rid of moisture as soon as you can. Do not allow moisture to linger.
Moisture issues are a huge concern for homeowners. But, with a little preparation you can prevent most issues before they become a serious problem. And if there is a problem, finding it sooner rather than later can save you time and money on repairs.