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Morris County Roofers: Article About The Danger Of Ice Dams

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Morris County roofers appreciate the danger of ice dams. They are a common phenomenon in the area, and homeowners often struggle with the extensive damage they cause. However, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the risk and keep properties throughout the area safe. Here is what homeowners should know about how ice dams work, what they can do and how they can be prevented.

Ice dams are commonly seen in the dead of winter when the temperatures are below freezing and snow is common. The ice and snow can build up on your roof and cover the gutters. As warm air inside the home rises into the attic, it causes the ice on the lowest levels to melt. The water is trapped in this area and will have nowhere to go. It may back up under shingles, and in an open valley, it can easily slip beneath the protective flashing. The damage goes unnoticed beneath the upper layers of snow and ice, but it can quickly becoming apparent in the home.

Water will follow the path of least resistance. Once it breaches the shingles, it will either soak through the underlayment or find another seam. An ice dam in one section of the roof can easily lead to interior leaks several feet away.

The roofers from Peter W Smith Construction of Morris County NJ would be happy to answer any questions you have about roof repair or gutters.

The damage won't be limited to peeling paint and soaking drywall, either. Over time, the water damage can warp doors, ruin windows, harm floors and even cause ceilings to collapse. These are more extreme examples of damage that's allowed to progress, but even mild water damage can be costly to repair. Water that does reach the gutters will refreeze, and the added weight can result in gutters that sag or fall off completely.

The great news is that ice dams can be avoided. The first step is to check the insulation in the attic. The insulation should be thick, fluffy and fully extended over the living space. However, the insulation should never cover the intake vents along the eaves. These are an important part of the attic ventilation, and that's your second layer of protection.

A properly vented attic pulls cool air in through the lower areas and pushes the heated air out through the top. This effectively keeps the rafters cool in the winter and prevents the roof sheathing from warming up enough to melt the snow. Professional roofers can inspect an attic to determine if the ventilation needs to be adjusted.

Finally, homeowners can have ice shield installed on the roof when it's time to have it replaced. This waterproof membrane adheres directly to the roof decking and creates a solid barrier against water. It's one of the best ways to protect a home from ice dams.

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