Check Gutters and Downspouts After Major Snowfall.
- Protect your home from leaks and mildew.
- Protect your roof and shingles from water damage.
Winter snowstorms are lovely to watch and make our homes feel cozy and warm but there are important tasks for homeowners to perform when the snowflakes begin to fall. Check your roofline for ice dams. Ice dams form when warmth from the house escapes through the ceilings and melts the snow that has accumulated on the roof. As this water travels to the edge of the roof, it freezes again, causing a dam. The water backup from ice dams can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to back up and pour into your house. Watch of icicles hanging from the eaves, as they can be an indicator of ice dams.
The easiest and best plan is to hire a professional to deal with the problem. They’ll have specialized tools for the job and the expertise to do the work safely. Following big storms schedules fill up so you may have to wait a day or two for professionals to come to you.
If the cost or the delay is prohibitive for you, you can remove the ice dams yourself. Bear in mind that this is a dangerous task and safety measures should be taken. Be aware that you should never walk on a snow-covered roof.
The best technique to eliminate much of the damage caused by ice dams is to eliminate the heat source if possible. This may mean extra insulation, sealing attic doors, or even venting your attic space. If this is not possible or if the dam remains, you can temporarily fix the problem by cutting channels into the ice dam to allow the water to flow off the roof. It is not necessary to remove all of the ice in the gutters or the ice dam itself, simply create a channel and do your best to leave your roof in tact. Do not use rock salt or similar ice melt products as they may damage the roof. Keep in mind that cutting away at the ice in this area will in all likelihood cause damage to your roof. However the trade-off may be well worth the price.
Keep your house safe and warm and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your house is protected and safe.