Winterizing your Home – Dealing with a Frozen Roof
Winter months can be extremely difficult for homeowners. Those who live in harsh climates have to deal with icy wind and bone-chilling weather, having to shovel snow and put up with freezing pipes.
One of the most frustrating parts of winter is dealing with frozen roofs. While a frozen roof can look harmless enough, this could not be further from the truth. Consequences of a frozen roof include frozen gutters, leaks, and ice damming, which can then cause backup and water damage.
If you want to prevent warped floors, stained ceilings, soggy insulation, and mold, dealing with your frozen roof is essential. The following are some of the actions you can take to prevent a frozen roof, ice dams, and all the troubles that come along with them.
Use Heat Cables
Electric heat cables are a popular solution for frozen roofs and problems like ice damming. Essentially, these high-resistance wires melt snow before it has a chance to form an ice dam. These are readily available and fairly affordable. That being said, the cost can vary based on how much cable you need and the size of the roof in question. They also require manual rerouting of meltwater before it refreezes along the edge of the roof. If you use this option, be sure to run the heating cable inside the downspout as well so that it doesn’t get clogged with ice.
Improving attic insulation is the best way to address ice damming in the long run. However, it should be noted that this does not refer to adding more insulation. It refers to plugging gaps and optimizing insulation so that there’s no warm air from electrical outlets, conduits, or light fixtures. For example, capping the attic hatch can be helpful because it allows heat to escape. You can also seal ducts and caulk penetrations to prevent passing air.
Another way to cool your attic is to install a ventilation system. This can take several forms, including ventilator fans, turbine ventilators, and soffit vents. It should be noted that all of these are options that would require the help of a professional. Attic ventilation cools the attic and roof by flushing out warm air and drawing in cold air from outside.
Ventilating the eaves and ridge can be especially helpful, with one of the best combinations being a ridge vent paired with soffit vents. This results in cold air circulating under the entire roof. Many homeowners even place baffles at the eaves to allow the airflow from the soffit vents to have a clear path. Installing an exhaust to the outside can also be beneficial as long as the ducts all lead outside through the walls and the roof. This mustn’t be through the soffit.
Use a Roof Rake
One of the simplest ways to prevent ice damming and a completely frozen roof is to use a roof rake to remove snow from your roof before it melts and refreezes. Roof rakes are flat shovels attached to long poles that can help you remove snow from your roof while on the ground. They can also help you keep ice from building up near gutters and remove debris, leaves, and branches that have may fall into your gutters.
In addition to being affordable, they’re easy to use and can remove most snow from the roof of a single-story house. Things get a little more difficult with larger homes, but these tools are still great at removing snow from the edges of the roof. It should be noted that roof rakes are meant to remove fresh snow, not solidified snow. Therefore, best practice involves removing the snow when it’s fluffy, not hard. Doing this before it has a chance to set after melting and re-freezing can prevent ice damming and water damage.
However, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t use a roof take while standing on a ladder. You should also be careful when using one since it is easy to break shingles or cause other damage in the process of doing so. This is the most cost-effective solution for occasional heavy snow and subsequent ice damming.
Install Gutter Guards
To have a clog-free gutter system, homeowners can always install stainless steel mesh gutter guards to stop debris from entering the gutters. When this is prevented, there’s a smaller likelihood of ice forming over the gutters during the winter.
911 Restoration Can Help With Frozen Roofs and Water Damage
All of these can help you with preventing a frozen roof and ice damming. However, if you already have water damage and water leakage due to these problems, it’s best to call professional home restoration services like 911 Restoration. Tackling ice damming and frozen gutters can be a complicated process and can result in structural damage if you’re not careful or use improper methods. It’s also a dangerous task to undertake and thus, is best left to professionals who have experience in water damage restoration and frozen roofs in particular.
If you’re in Northern Kentucky and want to winterize your home, contact the professionals at 911 Restoration. We have extensive experience in home restoration services ranging from fire and water damage restoration to disaster restoral and mold removal. We’re available 24/7 to accommodate emergencies and can be at your property within 45 minutes of your call!