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Madison Roofing: Article About Cold Weather Roof Protection

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Anyone who lives in a cold, snowy climate has probably seen icicles hanging from the edge of their roof. Other signs of winter often include ice ridges that form along the eaves and gutters. While these ice formations might seem like a normal part of winter, homeowners should understand that they can pose a very real threat to the integrity of their roof.

When ice is building up on a roof, there are two likely culprits that could be causing this problem. The first is an attic that is not being maintained at a cool enough temperature. Madison roofing contractors advise their clients that an attic needs to stay cool in order to keep the underside of the roof from getting too warm. This requires ensuring that the attic has insulation of the correct R Value for the climate. Unfortunately, if the attic gets warm, heat will rise under the roof and can make snow melt prematurely.

When snow along the roof's ridge melts before the snow along the eaves and lower sections, there is no way for the dripping water to drain off the roof. The snow melts, and water starts trickling down the roof's slope.

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When it reaches the lower areas of the roof, this trickling water hits standing snow and a freezing roof deck. As the water sits there, it freezes into a ridge of ice. This process continues until dripping water eventually works its way under shingles and through the roof's underlayment. When water reaches the roof deck, big problems are not far behind. Water leaks and deck damage can be expensive issues to repair.

The second problem that could be causing ice dams to form on a roof is an attic that doesn't have sufficient ventilation. Good ventilation is essential to keeping attic temperatures cool enough to protect the roof. With good ventilation, cool outdoor air can be drawn into the attic while pushing the warm air out.

Another problem that can create a warm attic is ductwork that has holes or seams that aren't sealed. Not only will a homeowner lose a significant amount of the heat that should be warming their home, they will be wasting a lot of money on their heating bills. Properly sealing ducts and the openings around vents and light sockets, can help keep heat from entering the attic.

Homeowners who experience ice dams on their roof should contact a roofing professional to have their roof and attic evaluated. When problems with the attic are resolved, the roof will be protected against leaks caused by a buildup of ice.

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