Addressing the Causes of Ice Dams Prevents Leaks

Ice dams form due to uneven roof heating. That is a simple explanation for a complex interaction involving snow cover, heat loss from a building and temperature changes outdoors.

The problems caused by this complex interaction may include damage to paint or exterior siding and compression of wall installation leading to decreased energy efficiency in a system that is already not operating efficiently. Leaking water can also stain interior ceilings and walls.

Damage to walls or ceilings can be “covered up” with fresh paint. But the dampness can lead to the growth of mold or mildew, which will eventually stain the new paint. Mold and mildew growth in the home is a cause of allergies and other illnesses.

Icicles are a sign that the roof has the potential to form an ice dam. Higher temperatures near the top of the roof cause snow to melt. Overhangs are typically cooler. The melt water freezes. Hanging icicles typically form first. The icicles are sometimes lovely to look at but they are a bad sign for the building owner.

If it snows again, the weight forces the melt water through the roof. That’s why the ice is a major problem of roof leaks. The melt water cannot get past the ice dam as easily as it can get through the roof.

There are several steps you can take to prevent the formation of an ice dam. Some of these steps should be taken before the season’s first snowfall.

An effective attic ventilation system helps in some areas. Mechanical attic ventilation is not a solution in areas where snowfall is heavy. In Minnesota, for example, mechanical air ventilation systems can create additional problems such as moisture in the attic. Natural (non-mechanical) attic ventilation systems are more effective for keeping the attic space dry and preventing heat buildup in the summer.

Any vents or pipes on the roof can be potential problems. Heat will rise from inside the building and through the openings causing uneven melting. Moving vents to the walls of the building is one solution. Additional insulation or weatherproofing at the point where the pipes or vent system passes through the ceiling of the building is another option. The goal is to make the ceilings as air tight as possible.

If you notice that there is uneven melting on the roof or you see icicles hanging on the edge, the immediate step to take is to use a roof rake to get the snow off of the roof. Use caution to avoid taking a fall. A roof rake has a very long extending handle and can be used from the ground in most situations.

If you can see an ice dam, you can hose the area with tap water on a warm day to melt away the ice. You will want to work upward from the lowest edge where the icicles are hanging to create a channel to allow the melt water to escape. This is a temporary solution at best and you can save yourself from future roof repair problems. As soon as the weather clears, you will need to take other measures to prevent heat loss that contributes to ice dam formation.

How to Find a Reputable Roofing Company for Roof Repair

Many homeowners wonder how to find a reputable roofing company. There are a number of disreputable companies out there. Choosing one of them can have painful and expensive results. Here are some things to look for to make sure that you do not choose a disreputable company.

The first thing to look for is a business name, address and phone number. Many of the people who have been scammed by roofers had someone come to their door and offer their “services”. No business card was offered and none was asked for.

Call the phone number and drive by the address to verify that you are dealing with an actual business and not a scammer. Some roofers do work out of their homes. That is not necessarily a problem, as long as you know where to find the contractor if there is a problem.

Ask for references when you are interviewing potential contractors. A good contractor will have good references and will be proud to give you a list. Don’t just take it for granted that the references are legit. Call them.

New roofers are not going to have the experience or training that you need to get the job done right. You want to look for an experienced roofer who has been in business for quite some time. Who was working in roof repair and other roofing issues like leaks repair and roof maintenance. Everyone has to start somewhere but you really don’t want a newbie working on your roof.

Another part of how to find a reputable roofing company is to find out what state licensing is required. Not all states require roofers to have special licenses. If it is required in your state, make sure that the contractor has the appropriate license.

All contractors are required to have a business license. Ask for the owner’s business license number. If he hesitates or cannot provide one, you are probably talking to a disreputable roofer. At the very least, you are talking to someone who is doing business illegally.

An important part of how to find a reputable roofing company is to ask about insurance. The contractor should carry worker’s compensation insurance in case there is an injury to one of the helpers he brings along. Otherwise, you may be held liable for an injury. The contractor should also have general liability insurance to cover damage to your property that can occur during the job.

Those are the basics of how to find a reputable roofing company. A contractor having all of the things mentioned here should get the job done right.

For product information or ordering visit EPDM Coatings or call them at 855-281-0940.