Do you want to add a skylight to your existing roof? Skylights that let in light, allow more breezes, or even warm up cold parts of the house can increase the home's value and comfort. But they affect your existing roof as well. One problem you should plan for ahead of time is the formation of ice dams.
What is an ice dam? Why might a skylight create them? And what can you do to protect your roof and your home? Here are some important answers to these questions.
What Is an Ice Dam?
An ice dam refers to the effects of snow and ice melting on your roof and then refreezing. Because some areas underneath the roof — usually an attic — are often the warmest parts of the roof, snow begins to melt there fastest.
As it runs downward, it reaches the edges of the roof which are usually cooler. That water turns back into ice and starts to block the roof edges. More water may then become trapped as well, forming a large blockage and heavy icicles. These can then damage the shingles, decking, and gutters.
Why Do Skylights Affect Ice Dams?
Ice dams are most known to form at the edges of a roof along the cooler eaves. However, they can form anywhere on the roof where temperatures change. Skylights tend to allow more warm air to come up around them and thaw snow and ice around the skylight. That water may then travel down to the eaves and create ice dams.
Depending on the location of the skylight and the angles of the roof, that water may not run toward the eaves but instead pool in low spots elsewhere on the roof.
What Can You Do to Beat Ice Dams?
The best way to battle ice dams is to prevent them in the first place. If your roofing doesn't already have ice and water shields installed underneath the shingles, add these waterproof membranes around the skylight and along the eaves.
Another good place to begin is by working with a roofing professional to analyze the heat and cooling patterns on and under the roof. If the attic is too warm, for instance, you might install additional insulation or venting to help control the temperature.
Where Should You Start?
An ounce of prevention, they say, is worth a pound of cure. Because ice dams cause serious damage to the roof and the skylight, the best approach is to prevent them entirely. Do this by consulting with an experienced roofing company in your area. They'll work with you to find the best ways to avoid this potentially expensive and troublesome roof problem while enjoying your new skylight to the full.
Contact a company like Tema Roofing and Siding.