Ice dams often seem like a problem your house will never have. Sure, your neighbors’ houses sometimes get ice dams, but surely your house never will.
Unfortunately, ice dams are not a problem until they become a problem. Like a lot of issues, they can sneak up on you. This is why it’s important to be proactive. Preventing ice dams is a lot easier -and less expensive- than trying to deal with them after they’ve formed.
Why Ice Dams Are Dangerous
Ice dams occur when uneven roof temperatures cause snow to melt on certain parts of your roof, and then re-freeze as the water runs downward toward your gutters. When this happens, the ice will grow and create a barrier, forcing any additional water to pool behind it.
When water can’t drain, it can lead to a lot of major, expensive roof and interior home damage. Water often gets forced under the shingles, where it can freeze again, loosening the shingles and eventually penetrating every layer of your roof. Ice dams are notorious for destroying otherwise healthy roofs in the Northeast.
Ice Dam Solutions
There are a number of steps you can take to make ice dams less likely, but the most effective method of preventing ice dams is to have a roof de-icing system installed by a qualified roofing professional. These systems offer consistent protection all winter long, and most roof de-icing systems fall into two categories.
- Roof De-Icing cables: A common de-icing solution for Massachusetts roofs, de-icing cables are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. They are typically secured to the roof just above the gutters in a wave pattern and run a current which heats the surface to prevent water from freezing and keep runoff consistent.
- Radiant Edge Systems: Installed along the entire edge of the roof, radiant edge systems provide a cleaner look than de-icing cables. They work by melting snow at the edge of the roof, allowing it to pass through the gutters without any risk of freezing again. Radiant edge systems offer great top-to-bottom protection.
Being proactive is the best way to gain an edge in the battle against ice dams, and the best time to get started is now when the weather is warm. Contact O’LYN Roofing today to learn more about our roofing services, including ice melt solutions.