Although they are pretty look at, those long icicles along your gutters are a potential indicator of winter roof damage. We typically think of winter in Cincinnati as a few snow storms and some cold weather. What we may not think about is snow’s cousin – ICE.
Winter Roof Damage – Ice Damming
Ice Dams form in your gutters when melting snow runs down into them and then refreezes. When the gutters fill with ice you get a few problems.
- Your gutters were designed to channel water away from the house – not hold huge amounts of water/ice over a long period of time. So when the ice dams up in the gutters they become very heavy and could possible pull away from the house. This will damage the gutters but could also damage the siding they are attached to.
- Ice Dams can lead to water getting trapped between the roof and the sheet of ice on it. This happens when the roof is warmed by home underneath it. That melted water has no where to go – except back into the smallest cracks in your roof shingles and eventually into the attic.
- Icicles are an indicator of ice dams on your roof. Large, heavy, and sharp icicles can break loose and cause serious damage if they fall on anyone below.
How Can I Prevent Ice Dams?
There is no way to solve an ice dam problem when you are in the middle of it. DO NOT try and fix it – just be patient and wait for the ice to melt according to State Farm Insurance. In the spring take the following steps:
- Add insulation. This will help your home stay warm, and the attic stay cold preventing snow melt and future ice dams.
- Clean soffits. Clean out your soffits so that you have good cold air flow into the attic. This keeps the roof cold, prevents snow melt. and future ice dams.
- Clean the gutters. This may not actually help prevent ice dams, but will help move the water away from the house when that ice melts.
If you think you have ice dams, call a roofer for an inspection and recommendations on how to repair and protect you home. If you need a roofer recommendation call me, I am happy to provide you a licensed and bonded contractor recommendation.