Ice dams in Kansas City properties are a common occurrence during the winter. If your home has insulation issues – particularly on the attic and roofing – you’re likely to see ice dam formations by the edge of your roof.
Left untreated, ice dams can create roof damage and eventually lead to water damage on your attic, walls, ceiling, and other parts of your home’s structure. Here’s what you need to know about ice dams and how to prevent them from affecting your home.
How Do Ice Dams Form?
Ice dams form because of ineffective insulation causing uneven temperatures on your roof. Indoor heat rises upwards, and poor insulation will cause it to warm your attic ceiling. The heat will then melt the snow over the parts of the roof covering your attic, causing the water to slide down the slope of your roof.
The eaves of your roof are unaffected by the attic heat, so it’s cold enough to freeze the water into ice. This slow process of water melting and freezing at the edge will result in an ice formation that’s known as an ice dam.
Why Are Ice Dams Bad?
On their own, ice dams can be fairly heavy on your roofing material. Eventually, any more snow that melts and slides down will be pooled behind the ice dam. Not only does the trapped water add more weight to your eaves, but the weight may cause cracks that allow leaks into your property’s structure.
On top of your roof taking damage from the weight of ice dams, it can damage your gutters and shingles. The pooled water can also increase the risk of water damage as it spreads back to your attic, soaks your insulation, and affects the rest of your property’s structure. There’s also the risk of excess moisture on your roof and ceiling, which creates the perfect habitat for microbial growth and mildew. Some signs of water damage from your roof include:
- Stains on your ceiling and walls
- Peeling paint
- Warped floors
- Sagging ceilings
- Signs of mold on the ceiling
How to Prevent Ice Dams
Even before winter begins, your property should be prepared for the colder months ahead. Here are some effective ways to prevent ice dam formations.
1. Prepare Your Insulation
Your home may be due for an attic insulation upgrade. Investing in quality insulation material can keep warm indoor air in and prevent it from starting a chain of events that result in ice dam formations.
Winter is a good time to check if your roof has any cracks or holes. Throughout the year, you might have experienced rain that seeped into your property and wet your existing insulation. This can damage your insulation material and make it less effective for the winter.
2. Check for Attic Bypasses
A third of indoor heat loss is through the attic ceiling. Even with quality insulation material, there could be unblocked walls, gaps, and cracks around fixtures like lights, plumbing, chimneys, access hatches, and other fixtures that leave the smallest gaps for heat to escape in.
You can have a professional check for gaps or do it yourself. DIY measures like adding foam, caulk, or any other sealant can reduce the number of areas where warm air can escape and melt your snow. You also get the added benefit of saving energy costs by preventing air leaks.
3. Install Heated Cables
If heavy snow hasn’t arrived yet, you might have time to install electric heated cables onto your roof. Attach heated cables on the eaves’ underside in a zigzag pattern. If you start to see signs of ice dams, turn on the heated cables. This will heat the eaves and prevent water from freezing up at the edge of the roof. You can also try other snow and ice melters.
While it can be effective at removing ice dams, keep in mind that this won’t solve the glaring issue. The warm air escaping from your roof to the point that it can melt snow on your roof means that there’s an existing issue with your insulation.
Have the Professionals of Restoration 1 Handle Ice Dams Repair for Roof Damage and Water Damage
When it comes to ice dams in Kansas City, it’s much more practical to prevent them than to deal with ice dam repairs and the effects they can have on your home. However, if your property has already taken on damage from the effects of the winter season, you can trust Restoration 1 to return your property to a safe and structurally sound state.
Our services handle ice dam repairs, as well as restoration for issues that ice dams may have caused on your property. Whether that’s insulation issues, water damage, or permanent roof damage, our team of certified technicians can bring your property to its best possible condition.
Get in touch with Restoration 1 today.