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Ice Dams - Prevent Roof Leaks

Ice Dams

Ice dams are weather-caused phenomena that can cause leaking in your home or business. It is virtually impossible to stop them from forming. These 'dams' are just that, they are blockages of ice that can form just about anywhere on your roof. These dams prevent liquid water from flowing off your roof. This water then begins to go backwards up beneath your shingles, tile, slate, shakes etc.
The net result is a miniature reenactment of Niagara Falls inside your house! However, there are products available that, when properly applied, will minimize or eliminate the leaking caused by ice dams. There are also design features that you can incorporate into your structure to minimize or eliminate the water from entering your living space. Consult this article for more information on these subjects.

Ice Dam Formation

You can better understand how the specialized ice dam products work if you understand how and why ice dams form. Ice dams can develop under the following conditions: #1 Periods of heavy freezing rain; #2 Moderate or heavy snow conditions with an air temperature significantly below freezing.
You must first realize that most roofing products depend upon gravity to keep water from entering your house. A large majority of roofs are not level. Gravity pulls rain water or snow meltwater down the roof. Most roofing products are separate pieces that overlap. This overlap effect enables them to shed water. This is true of shingles, slate, tile, cement tiles, etc. You can easily create leaks in these systems if you aim a garden or fire hose underneath these products. This simple system works fine as long as the water keeps moving down the roof. Ice dams, however, cause water to go up the roof.
Ice dams form in the following fashion. If either the sun, or loss of heat from your home, causes the snow on your roof to melt, water begins to flow under the snow on its way down the roof. If the air temperature is significantly below freezing, the temperature of the roof deck, gutters, valley flashing and downspouts very possibly will be below freezing. This is especially true of roof decks, gutters and downspouts that may be shaded. When the meltwater hits these cold surfaces it begins to rapidly freeze. Eventually, the gutters and downspouts are choked with ice. The ice buildup continues at the gutter level and the ice becomes very thick. Meanwhile, the water is still coming down the roof. Depending upon the rate of melting vs. the rate of freezing, you may or may not have a problem. If the water is melting at a faster rate than it can freeze, it begins to back up underneath the roofing materials. This water then finds its way to the roof deck and eventually finds its way into your home. The results can be catastrophic.
Although ice dams can form anywhere on a roof, they form most readily at the bottom edge of roofs, valleys and areas where the slope might change on a roof.

Stopping the Leaks

It is virtually impossible to stop ice dams from forming. Some methods attempt to use heated electrical wire which is applied to the lower edge of your roof or which sits in your gutter. Often these methods have little effect. In some instances, they can be dangerous.
The newer technology has leaned in the direction of not trying to stop the ice dam from forming, but to simply stop the water from entering your home. As such, roofing manufacturers have developed products which combat just this. They are modified asphalt products.
These products help prevent leaks caused by ice dams as well as wind driven rain. Some of these products are rubberized, while others include styrene. Some are reinforced with fiberglass mats, while others are not. They work by creating a solid barrier to water wherever they are applied. It is similar to shrink wrapping that portion of your roof. When applied according to manufacturer's specifications all of them can be highly effective in preventing leakage from ice damming.
These products generally have one side which is very sticky. They are designed to be installed directly on the wood decking of your roof starting at the gutter line. Often these materials are installed at other potential trouble areas. Some of these areas are as follows: low slope roofs, valleys, slope changes, hips, rake edges, dormers, skylights, flashing areas. In certain instances, it can be used as an entire roof underlayment system. These products are designed to have other roofing materials applied over them. Sunlight will harm these products, so they must be covered.
Since these materials are very pliable and manufactured with different compounds, any nails which penetrate the products seal themselves. They are wonderful products. In ice dam situations, most leaking occurs within 3 feet of the gutter line. Because of this, you generally do not have to cover the entire roof with these products. However, low slope roofs, shaded roofs, and roofs that have a northern exposure are candidates for complete coverage. Consult with the manufacturer or a professional roofer for your particular situation.
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1949 Rochester Industrial Dr.
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Charleston, SC 29412
Hooten Homes LLC
103 West 4th St.
Wentzville, MO 63385
A-Top Roofing & Construction
77 Pension Road
Manalapan, NJ 07726
Complete Exteriors
4725 US-80
Pearl, MS 39208
Sunset Hills Roofing
12981 Maurer Industrial Dr
Sunset Hills, MO 63127
Klaus Larsen LLC
61 L Main St,Hebron, CT 06248
Hebron, CT, CT 06248
Allstate Roofing
2264 Fair Oaks Blvd Suite 204
Sacramento, CA 95825
Solution Roofing
77 W 200 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Harmony Home Improvement
2389 Main St
Glastonbury, CT 06033
Seneca Creek Home Improvement LLC
9909 Mainsail Dr
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
DePalma Construction Inc
29 Tannery Rd
Dillsburg, PA 17019
Mountain Roof Repair 2183
pocono pines, PA 18350
Leaf Gutter Guards - St Louis
1703 Delmar Blvd
St Louis, MO 40202
Summit Point Roofing
6352 E Fulton St
Ada, MI 49301
The Roof Maker Inc
38 Mercer Street
Bolivia, NC 28422
Millstream Construction
219 Naubuc Ave
East Hartford, CT 06118
Meredith Home Improvements
2025 Borland Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15243
Southern Home Services LLC
9307 Monroe Rd
Suite O
Charlotte, NC 28270
BOLT Construction and Roofing
746 Hanley Ind. Ct
Brentwood, MO 63144
All Around Roofing and Exteriors Inc
1440 South Monroe St
Denver, CO 80210
Pacific Exteriors LLC
14724 Bothell Way NE,Seattle, WA 98155
Seattle, WA, WA 98155
Scholar Painting LLC
2 Klarides Village Drive
Seymour, CT 06483
Epic Roofing & Exteriors Ltd.
2435 22 St NE
2435 22 St NE
2435 22 St NE
Calgary, AL AB T2E 8K8
TCK Roofing
Mansion House
Elstree Road
Bushey Heath, NJ 07016
Intech Equipment & Supply
1921 W. Grant St.
Phoenix, AZ 85009
Mallard Construction & Roofing
3601 S I-35 Service Rd,Oklahoma City, OK 73129
Oklahoma City, OK 73129
Gemini General Contracting
121 South Walnut Street
Westfield, IN 46074
Hustad Companies Inc
3236 County Hwy N
Cottage Grove, WI 53527
Total Roofing & Reconstruction
13332 Bee Street
Dallas, TX 75234
Rocky Mountain Snow Guards, Inc.
2055 S Raritan Street, Unit B
Denver, CO 80223
Roof Worx LLC
155 E Boardwalk Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80525
Turtle Roofing
8404 Sterling St #1
Irving, TX 75063
Final Touch Roofing
2518 1st St.
Rosenberg, TX 77471
American Dream Home Improvement - Illinois
3040 Finley Rd #200
Downers Grove, IL 60515
American Dream Home Improvement - Indiana
11711 N Pennsylvania St #105
Carmel, IN 46032
Bone Dry Roofing
11368 Dorsett Rd
Maryland Heights, MO 63043
My-Pros roofing
4133 N Perryville Rd,Loves Park, IL 61111
Loves Park, IL, IL 61111
RSG Roofing LLC
5648 Eula Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45248
Rapid Roofing
5700 S Sheldon Rd
Canton, MI 48188
Smart Care Exteriors
87 Main Street
Monroe, IL 06468
Quality Exterior Services LLC
234 Azores Dr
Slidell, LA 70458
Art Construction of NW FL, LLC
11 West 23rd Street
Suite B4
Panama City, FL 32405
Johnson Construction Company LLC
1707 N West St.
Lima, OH 45801
Contract Exteriors
1991 Glenns Bay Rd #200
Myrtle Beach, SC 29575
Pennington Roofers
3433 Highway 190 Suite 105
Mandeville, LA 70471
Drytech Restoration Services
80 Central Ave.
Spring City, PA 19475
Infinity Home Improvement Inc
852 47th St SW
Wyoming, MI 49509
New Look Builders
3931 Blue Bird Rd
Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006
Roof Worx LLC
12301 N Grant Street
Suite 130
Thornton, CO 80241
Bone Dry Roofing
4715 Lima Rd
Fort Wayne, IN 46808
9277 Cordova Park Rd
Cordova, TN 38018
Coomer Roofing Company
6204 South Harding Street
Indianapolis, IN 46217
Precision Roofing Inc
22 Kerr Lane
Southfields, NY 10975
A.Clark roofing and siding
4631 12 Street N
Calgary, AL T2E 4R3
Tredent Contracting Services
237 46th street
Brooklyn, NY 11220
Shield Roofing & Construction LLC
200 Hale St
Charleston, WV 25301
Olneya Restoration Group
1887 Craig Road
St. Louis, MO 63146
Johnson Construction Company LLC
545 Metro Place S Suite 100
Dublin, OH 43017
Sundollar Restoration, LLC
13119 Foster Ct
Carmel , MN 46033
Pitts Roofing
3917 Broadway Ave
Fort Worth , TX 76117
Crescent Movers
6321 N. Cicero Ave, Unit A
Chicago, IL 60646
Total Roofing & Reconstruction
3412 Langley Cir
Plano, TX 75024
Net Roofing
2525 W. Arkansas Ln
Arlington, TX 76010
Seci Construction Inc
157 Robin Hood Rd
Clifton, NJ 07013
Christian Brothers Roofing & Contracting, LLC
260 E Crossville Rd, Roswell, GA 30075, US
Roswell, GA, GA 30075
Roofs By Rodger
210 Sheridan St.
Longview, IL 61852
Chase Construction North West Inc
11316 36th St E
Edgewood, WA 98372
ABC Roofing Inc
624 Guilford College Rd
Greensboro, NC 27409
Colorado Roof Toppers
131 Hunters Cove Rd
Mead, CO 80542
Johnson Construction Company LLC
5357 Broadview Rd. Unit B
Parma, OH 44134
LeafGuard by Midlands Home Solutions
10416 Chandler Cir
La Vista, NE 68128
Roofing & Restoration Services of America
1605 E Terra Ln.
O'Fallon, MO 63366
Johnson Construction Company LLC
2692 Madison Rd
STE N1-315
Cincinnati, OH 45208