Does your roof typically develop big sheets of ice along the edges? These are known as ice dams. They can cause shingle damage and lead to leaks if not addressed. Unfortunately, by the time ice dams have formed, there is not a lot you can do about them. You should focus your attention on preventing the ice dams from coming back again. And for that, you need to call a roofer. Here are three changes they can make to help keep ice dams from forming in the future.
Installing Heating Cables
This is the most direct way to keep ice dams from forming. Your roofer can install heated cables on the underside of the roof, along the edge. These cables get just warm enough to keep the edge of your roof above freezing temperatures at all times. This solution does require electricity, so your roofer may need to work with an electrician to run a new line to your attic. Because it is quite involved, a roofer will typically only take this step if the other two protocols listed below don't work.
Adding Roof Insulation
If your roofer can keep the peak of your roof colder, then the snow up there won't melt and trickle down to the roof's edge, and you won't get ice along the edge of the roof. A roofer can install more insulation near the roof peak to keep it cooler. Usually, spray foam insulation works best for this purpose. It can be applied directly to the underside of your roofing, and even a thin layer has a high insulating value. It also plugs in any little holes so warm air can't seep through them.
Another step your roofer can take is adding more soffit vents to the roof. These are vents placed along the roof's eaves. They basically let warm air escape from the attic space. This keeps your attic cooler, which reduces the chances of snow on the peak melting and trickling down. If your roof design does not allow for more soffit vents, then the roofer may instead install a ridge vent along the roof's peak.
If your roof often develops ice dams, give a roofing service, such as Integrity Roofing Company, a call. Whether they apply more insulation, add vents, or install heating cables on your roof, there is a lot they can do to prevent this problem from repeating itself in the future. An ice-free roof is a healthy roof.