Utah Ice Damming: What You Need To Know
At the Flood Co. in Northern Utah, we are experts in fixing the issues that are associated with Utah ice damming. We hope to educate local residents about this problem. This includes helping people understand what causes ice dams and why it is so important to call us to get the problem fixed before it damages your home.
What Is Utah Ice Damming?
Typical houses have slanted roofs. This slant is meant to keep water from pooling on top of the roof, causing damage, and then leaking into a home. When an ice dam forms, water can’t run off the roof and into the gutters or on the ground.
This situation occurs when temperatures dip below freezing. Very often, ice forms on the lowest parts of a roof. This ice creates a sort of frozen wall on the roof that actually works like a dam. When water melts on the roof, it melts on the highest point first. This can actually create a flood on top of a normal slanted roof.
Why Is Utah Ice Damming Damaging To Homes?
If water leaks through the roof, it can damage many parts of a home that are not meant to be exposed to water. This includes attic insulation, ceilings, walls, and even the home’s frame. If the leak is large enough, the water could even seep into living areas and damage furnishings, carpets, and appliances. That’s why it is so important that this situation gets resolved as quickly as possible.
Why Do Ice Dams Form In Utah Home Rooftops?
Ice dams result from a complicated mix of factors. These include the home’s heat loss, the amount of snow on the roof, and of course, the temperature variation outside. These are the factors that contribute to the formation of ice dams on Utah houses:
* There has to be snow on top of the roof.
* The highest portions of the roof have to be above freezing.
* The lowest parts of the roof must be below freezing.
* The average outside temperature has to be below freezing for some period of time.
The upper portion of the roof might be just above freezing because of heat loss from the roof even when the lower part of the roof is below freezing. As water melts from the top of the snow cover on the roof, it runs through the part that is below freezing. The water freezes.
As more water runs down the roof, the dam becomes large enough to keep melted water pooled on the roof. That is exactly what causes ice damming in this part of the country.
Of course, the biggest problem is the weight of the pool of melted water. The pressure will eventually allow the water to find cracks in the rooftop or shingles that normally wouldn’t leak. Both the weight of the water and the ice may also damage roofs and increase the size of these cracks. In turn, this water finds its way into attics and even the home below the attic.
How To Prevent An Ice Dam
Homeowners with a current or potential ice dam might take some emergency measures. It’s a good idea to clear roofs of snow as much as possible. This might be carefully done with a broom, but that can cause shingle damage. Another tactic is to hose the roof with warm water to get the snow or ice to melt.
Of course, the best way to eliminate the threat of ice dams is to prevent as much heat loss as possible. This also will probably save on heating bills and help keep a house comfortable. There are several different reasons that the top of a house is warmer than the lower parts. The most basic one is the fact that heat rises. As a furnace heats the living quarters, some of this heat may escape back into the attic and through the roof.
Of course, the solution is to keep heat from leaving the home. This can be done through better insulation on the floor and ceiling of the attic. At the same time that this helps prevent ice dams, it should also reduce fuel consumption. It’s a win-win solution for Utah homeowner.
Contact The Flood Co.
Now that you understand the damage that ice dams can cause, you should also know that you can contact us here at the Flood Co. for help in Northern Utah. You can contact us for help with an urgent problem in order to prevent flooding and roof damage. You can also contact us to learn more about how to prepare a home to prevent ice dams from ever forming. One thing that you should never do is to ignore an ice dam on your roof.