Knoxville Storm Damage - Understanding and Preventing Ice Dams
Understanding and Preventing Ice Dams causing Knoxville water damage
Ice dams can be incredibly destructive in the winter. They can cause leaks that rot away the structure of the house. Fortunately, they can be prevented with a little maintenance and care. You should understand what ice dams are and how to prevent them from forming.
Understanding What an Ice Dam Is
An ice dam is something that forms on the edge or lower portion of your roof. The dam is an area of ice that acts like a wall. Ice dams stop snow and water from moving naturally off your roof. The water will begin to accumulate on your roof behind the dam. Ice dams are dangerous because the water on your roof will usually flow under the shingles and into your home. This can cause a massive amount of water damage Knoxville to the structure of your house. Additionally, the ice itself could punch a hole in the roof that allows water to enter. The dam could tear the gutters out opening a new path where water can enter the house.
Why Ice Dams Form
An ice dam can form on any home when the temperatures are right and there is snow on the roof. The main cause of ice dams is the constant melting and then refreezing of water and snow. The melting snow rolls down the side of the roof. The cold air then causes it to freeze. If this process is allowed to go one for some time, then the frozen patches of water will start to grow. This occurs until a tall dam has formed. Homes that are emitting a large amount of heat through the roof are more vulnerable to ice dams.
One of the main ways to prevent ice dams is to make certain the attic has good ventilation. A warm attic will cause the snow on the roof to continually melt. The cold weather will cause it to refreeze until an ice dam appears. You should install a fan or other ventilation system so that your attic stays cool in the winter. It will also help to repair any holes or gaps in the roof where water could find a way into your house.
Upgrading the Gutters
Another option to prevent ice dams is to upgrade the gutters along the edge of your roof. There are now gutter heating systems available. A series of cables are installed down the length of your gutters. A shield is placed on top of the gutters. The cables are actually heating elements. Any snow or ice that gathers on the edge of your roof is melted with this gentle heat. This reduces the chance that any amount of ice will accumulate and create a dam causing Knoxville water damage.
Keeping the Roof Clean
If your home is prone to ice dams, then you need to keep the roof clean. This means removing as much snow from the roof as possible. Many tools and devices are available that can be used to safely remove snow from a roof without requiring you to climb a dangerous ladder in the winter. Removing the snow prevents it from melting and refreezing into an ice dam.
Breaking Up an Ice Dam
If there is an ice dam already on your roof, then it is possible to break it up manually to minimize damage. You will need to use a tool to slowly chip off pieces of the dam. The goal is to create a channel through the dam so that the water trapped behind can escape and flow off the roof. This can temporarily solve the problem although the channel will likely fill in with more ice over time.
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