A slight formation of ice may be nice to look at, since the forces of nature made some sculptures with the help of freezing temperatures, water and ice. However, people don’t seem to know that much when it comes to the actual effects it’ll have on a house. How does it form up and what can we do to keep things away from a “frozen” situation?
A poor victim of ice dams is the gutter system. A good gutter system will also involve a good gutter cover but when the snow comes in – it’s another story. What causes an ice dam? Snow, heat, and the cold temperatures. Two main factors also play a big part. The outdoor temperature and indoor temperature – most probably the one from the attic. When the roof catches snow, the heat from the attic melts it – so presumably it’ll just flow down to the gutter and to the downspout. However, that isn’t always the case. So it flows down, then when it comes close to the gutter, the cold temperature almost freezes it immediately, building up a small dam. Unless it’s being dealt with right away, the “dam” will build up and eventually even cover up your gutter system. Definitely not a good sight to see, and not a small problem that you can deal with on another day.
Ice dams are one of the biggest spoilers of the gutter system. Some people would say that gutters cause the dams, but hey – they’re only the unwilling victims. Aside from damaging your gutters, unmelted snow will seep into the house and damage the interiors. It’ll also ruin the heat insulation of the house which will result to expensive repairs. On the other hand, that’ll be prevented – the home owner just needs to be well equipped with some tools and some adjustments to the roof and ceiling.
Having an indoor furnace isn’t enough, as too much heat on the attic will just let the melted snow flow down and get frozen at the part of the roof which isn’t heated. Proper insulation and ventilation sorts the problem out. Having exhaust vents will let warm air go through them and gets cool air in. The vents just need to be regularly checked for debris. Proper attic ventilation will smooth out the drastic changes in temperature and prevent the water to be frozen at the gutters. The vents located at the soffits or eaves are a big help already, so make sure it’s well-maintained.
Some also use a ridge vent, which is a continuous vent that runs up to the roof’s peak. Others use a turbine that’s heat-propelled and spins as air passes through. To have it prevented in the first place, make it a point to regularly rake the roof and get the snow off, and heat tapes can also be installed.