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How to Protect Your Roof From Ice Dams

Posted on March 10, 2016

Roofing Walpole MA

Snow may make for picturesque New England winters, but it's as troublesome as it is lovely. In addition to the hassles of shoveling and the stresses of icy roads, snow also puts a burden on your house, especially the roof. One of the biggest concerns for roofing in Walpole, MA, is the formation of ice dams, but there are ways to avoid this problem.

What Is an Ice Dam?

Ice dams develop when heat escaping through a roof warms the snow on top of it. The melting snow flows down the roof until it reaches the unheated eaves and gutters, where it freezes solid again. Over hours or days, this process of melting and refreezing creates mounds of solid ice collected at the edges of a roof that are known as ice dams.

Why Are Ice Dams Dangerous?

As the name implies, an ice dam acts as a barrier, damming water from the melting snow and preventing it from draining off the roof. This water backs up, creating pools which seep under shingles and the fascia boards along the roof's edges, and eventually soak through the walls and roof decking. The moisture can damage attics and ceilings, causing rotting and mold growth.

How Can Ice Dams Be Prevented?

Improving the insulation in your attic and elsewhere under your roof prevents heat from melting the snow. Properly ventilating your roofing in Walpole, MA, also helps, by fully releasing any heat that might escape. The final key to protecting your home is to ensure the underlayment beneath your shingles is rated against water and ice. Installing a waterproof underlayment when you get a new roof will prevent any ice dams that do form from causing damage.

Along with snow days and snowball fights, ice dams are an inevitable part of winter. By taking the proper precautions with your roofing in Walpole, MA, you can make sure your home is ready for the next snowstorm.

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