While a leaking roof may not come as a complete surprise during the rainy season, a steady dripping from above on a winter day causes many homeowners to scratch their heads and leave them wondering how the roof could possibly be leaking on a day without any rainfall.
Houses located in climates that receive significant snowfall are at risk of roof leakage caused by the formation of an ice dam. An ice dam is a barrier of ice that forms near the roof’s edge and prevents proper water drainage from the roof. When water from melted snow builds up behind the ice dam, it may pool or be forced uphill and underneath shingles causing damage to the roofing materials. Roofing is only designed to keep out water that’s travelling downward with gravity. Once the roofing is compromised, water may begin to leak and damage the interior of the home. Furniture and personal belongings may also be affected by the leakage. Additionally, the presence of water inside the home may cause the growth of mold and mildew, leading to a decrease in indoor air quality and an increase in illness for the occupants of the home. Infants and the elderly are particularly susceptible to mold-related illness.
The primary cause of ice dam formation is poor insulation of the attic space of the house. Warm air seeps through the attic ceiling to the underside of the roof, causing the ice and snow to melt. The dam is formed when the water freezes again at the edge of the roof. It is important for property owners to realize that repairing the leaky roof will not prevent the formation of future ice dams. A multi-pronged approach will be needed to eliminate the problem.
Here are a few tips to prevent ice dam formation:
· Clean debris from the gutters before the season’s first snowfall. This will help eliminate a build-up of ice in the gutters and will allow the gutters to properly redirect water resulting from melting snow.
· Seal any air leaks in the attic to stop warm air from seeping through to the roof.
· Add insulation to the attic after sealing air leaks. This will help keep warm air inside and prevent the warming of the roof.
· Provide adequate attic ventilation to reduce heat transfer through the roof.
If you think your property is suffering from ice-damming and/or water leaking, call Monroe Restoration at 1-800-499-4022 to get an expert inspection and restoration of your property.