Winter weather in Ohio presents challenges to homeowners, especially with heavy snowfall, rain, and ice build-up. One of the most dreaded consequences of the Cincinnati winter months is ice dams on your roof. These chunks of ice can cause serious damage to a shingled roof, but luckily there are preventive steps that homeowners can take to keep ice dams off of their roof.
What Are Ice Dams?
Ice dams are chunks of ice that form along your roof’s margins. When frozen, they pose little threat and are deceptively harmless. However, when the weather warms, ice dams can cause serious damage to your Ohio roof. Shingled or asphalt roofs are particularly vulnerable to ice dam damage.
Melting ice dams seep up into shingles, sometimes traveling as far as 10 feet up your roof. The melted ice will find its way into your air vents. You’ll start to notice the damage throughout your house – water damage on the walls and ceilings, stains around your doors and windows, rust on drywall fasteners, peeling paint, sagging drywall, and more.
Ice dam damage can cost thousands of dollars to repair. The best way to combat ice dams is to take preventive measures before the first frost.
Install a Metal Roof
While metal roofs don’t eliminate the risk of ice dams completely, they do reduce the chances of damages. Metal roofs do not have shingles, so most snow that falls on the roof is shed. Sometimes, snow collects around the nails and other non-flat areas of the roof, but for the most part, the roof remains snow-free. The ice has nowhere to build up and when it melts, it usually slides right off.
Proper Attic Ventilation
Keeping your roof cold can prevent ice dam damage. Ensuring that your attic has proper ventilation will help regulate this temperature. Cold air travels into the attic vents and warm air will go back outside. The roof is cooled and ice is less likely to melt into your home.
Check Your Insulation
Proper insulation will also keep your roof cold and ice dam damage out of your Cincinnati home. Your attic should have between 12 and 14 inches of insulation, usually fiberglass or cellulose. High insulation helps regulate temperatures, thus keeping out melted ice. If you have less than 8 inches of insulation, install more before winter comes.
Close Attic Leaks
Your attic may have leaks in the walls and floors, leaching warm air from your home. This warms the attic, which also warms the roof and melts ice dams. Closing these leaks can help you keep your roof cold and ice dams out. When closing leaks, check for:
· Gaps in the drywall
· Cracks around fixtures
· Unblocked walls
· Ceiling penetrations
The best way to combat ice dams is by installing a metal roof. Erie Metal Roofs provides top-quality metal roofing services to customers across six states. Contact us today to learn more about your metal roofing options and to get a free price estimate.