IL ROOFING LIC.#104.015876 | Roofing, Siding, and Window Restoration & Replacements | Bathroom and Kitchen Remodels

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ice dam coming off of gutter rain spout call Pro-Line

Ice Dam And Roof Damage Prevention

Ice dams cause a winter threat to many homes in northern states, including Illinois. We offer ice dam prevention services for our clients in the Pro-Line Contractor service areas in Illinois. Whether you have lived in your home for years or just moved in, the house’s roof may have already suffered some damage from ice dams. Fortunately, you can prevent roof damage from now on by taking the proper preventative measures. Pro-Line Contractors can help you with fixing ice dams or preventing them altogether.

Protect Your Roof from Ice Dams and Their Damage

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What Are Ice Dams?

An ice dam consists of a snow and ice buildup, usually along the roof’s edge above the eaves. Water can get caught above the ice dam as the weather warms up. It pools there and can quickly drain down through your roof. From there, it goes into the interior of your attic and other home areas. This water can cause damage to both the structure and your home’s contents.

heavy snow and warm spots on roof causing ice dams

How Do Ice Dams Form?

Ice dams happen because of fluctuating outdoor air temperatures and varying heat levels inside your home. When the weather is freezing, snow piles up on your roof. As the outdoor temperature rises – even slightly – the snow begins to melt. Then, if the weather gets a little colder, that melting snow turns to ice. As the temperature continues rising and falling, a large ice dam can block the way of melting snow, causing areas of standing water on your roof.
The inconsistent indoor heat comes into the picture to complicate matters. Poorly-insulated areas allow heat to rise to the inside of the roof. Often, people put very little insulation between the top floor of the living space and the attic. But, if the attic has inadequate insulation, the heat will rise to the roof. With this heat, more snow and ice turn to water, increasing the chances of damage.

Why Do Ice Dams Still Exist?

You might wonder why someone hasn’t found a solution to ice dams. After all, people in northern states live with snow and ice yearly. However, architects have indeed found ways to minimize the formation of ice dams. In fact, many areas have local building requirements that protect homes from this type of damage. Unfortunately, older homes may not have this protective design. In addition, if you or your builder uses a design made for a warmer climate, you could start with a roof prone to ice dams.

Who Cares? I LOVE Icicles!!

Icicles may look pretty, especially on a quaint older home. However, the melting, refreezing, added snow, more melting, and more refreezing WILL cause damage to your roof.

The water that is trapped can get under the roofing shingles, and water has a fantastic ability to creep into the roof like a slow-moving glacier. It can work up to 10 feet into your attic or roof space! As the “roof-glacier” approaches insulated warm air, it will leak into the house. This leaking water can cause damage to ceilings, floors, walls, insulation, paint, and more.

How Can I Manage Ice Dam Prevention?

Preventing ice dams takes consistent maintenance and meticulous prevention. At Pro-Line, we know how to handle roof damage prevention to keep ice dams from forming in the first place. We can keep your interior safe from impending ice damage with the right strategies.

snow on top of roof without ice dams is a cold roof

The Goal Is a Cold Roof

First, we must ensure that your roof is cold. Ice dams form because a roof is unevenly warm. Patches of the roof or just the topmost portion of the roof get above freezing. At the same time, the bottom edge of your roof is below freezing. The melting snow from the upper part of the roof thaws and refreezes as ice along the bottom edge of the roof. Then, this newly formed ice prevents more snow from melting and dripping off the roof as it should.

roof insulation inside attic

Proper Insulation

Second, we check your attic and roof to ensure adequate insulation. Insulating your attic eliminates the unevenly heated spaces that cause the snow on the roof to melt in those areas. In Preventing Roof Ice Dams, the National Weather Service suggests using insulation with an R-Value of at least R-30, preferably R-38. You must have the proper insulation and be sure that it covers the intended area evenly.

roof vent on residential home Pro-line Contractors

Roof Vents and Soffits

Another part of the solution involves your roof vents and soffits. Some homes don’t even have roof vents. If your home has no roof vents, we can install them for you as a part of our ice dam prevention service. It would be best to have good airflow through the soffits and under the eaves. How does all this moving air help? It reroutes the warm air rising through your home and sends it away from the roof. Then, your roof stays colder. Mission accomplished!

How Can I Prevent Ice Dams from Damaging My Home?

First, we ensure that your roof is cold.  The main reason ice dams form is that the roof is unevenly warm.  Patches of the roof, or just the topmost portion of the roof, get above freezing while the bottom edge of your roof is below freezing.  The melting snow from the upper portion of the roof thaws and then refreezes as ice towards the bottom edge of the roof, this new ice prevents more snow from melting and dripping off the roof the way it should.  If an attic/roof is unevenly insulated or does not have roof or soffit vents, this becomes much more likely.

Pro-Line Contractors provides ice dam prevention services to protect your home from winter hazards. We have many ways of Winterproofing Your Home. Our services include the following:

  • Installing roof/soffit vents to flush out that warm attic air
  • Checking Insulation and replacing it if necessary
  • Plugging warm-air leaks from the living space into the attic

Alternatively, if all else fails, there are a few other options: snow-raking and heat cables to melt dams may be considered as a last resort.

gutter ice dam over window

What If the Damage Is Already Done?

Often, people don’t think much about ice dams until the melting snow leaks into the home’s interior. In that case, you may need a roof restoration or a roof replacement. When we do jobs such as these for our Chicagoland clients, we include all the ice dam prevention services with the restoration or replacement. We ensure that your home has all the proper insulation in the right places. We add roof vents and soffit vents if needed.
With Pro-Line, you have the complete ice dam prevention plan mapped out for you. Even better, you have a knowledgeable team to ensure everything gets done correctly. Contact us today to find out what we do to prevent ice dams and winter roof damage.

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