Prevention is always the best plan, but sometimes what we think is prevention is not always enough. With ice dams, there are many causes of the actual ice dams and resulting damage, and many are hidden. American Family Insurance has a very informative video on YouTube about ice dams, causes, prevention, and inspection. See it here http://tiny.cc/dpkmx and see below for more facts.
Snow melting and refreezing on your roof causes expansion and contraction which can cause cracks and damage to the integrity of your roof. Constant melting and build up of ice can be caused by a combination of factors:
1. Heavy Snow, Impeded Runoff
2. Inadequate Insulation, Low R-Value, Not Enough Air Pockets
3. Inadequate Home & Attic Ventilation
4. Improperly Installed Bathroom Venting
5. Clogged Gutters, Allowing Faster Ice Dam Build-Up & Preventing Runoff
Removing snow from the roof is the most obvious line of defense, but it may not be enough, and it may cause more damage. Even a small amount of residual snow and the melting and refreezing cycle can damage composition shingles and decking, and leaks may not be immediately apparent, dripping into attics and walls for weeks or months without evidence inside the home. Raking, shoveling, chopping and other aggressive means of removing ice and snow can cause more damage to the roof and results in many falls and serious injuries to homeowners every year. If you have ice and snow build-up, do not get on your roof, and do not strike your roof with an instrument from the ground. This is a job best left to professionals with non-damaging heavy-duty steamers, expertise, training and safety equipment.
However, ice dam prevention starts inside the home. Even if you have a new home or newer insulation, there may be ventilation problems or inadequacies that a qualified inspector can identify, saving you money and the inconvenience of new or expanding damage, mold problems and major repairs later.
PDR is a full service, licensed and BBB accredited general contractor. Call us for a free attic and roof inspection, or for professional ice dam removal, roof repair, or an insulation evaluation and estimate. Insulation tax credits have been extended into 2011 and most home insurance policies cover ice dam related repairs. PDR is expert at helping you smoothly navigate the claims process and get repairs and upgrades completed quickly and professionally.