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Colorado Springs Roofing: Article About How To Prevent Ice Dams

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Ice dams can cause considerable damage. Caused by a combination of factors, the dams may form after just one heavy snowfall. Most Colorado Springs roofing contractors are fairly familiar with ice dams and can assist homeowners who catch the issue fast enough. On the other hand, a preventative approach can prove even better. As a homeowner, the first step to preventing ice dams is to understand what they are.

Ice dams are icy formations that result from snow melting and then freezing at the edges of a rooftop. In essence, during a snowfall, the roof is evenly covered with a layer of snow. Next, the heat coming from the roof may cause the snow in areas to begin melting. As it melts, it runs down the roof. As this partially melted snow approaches the edge of the roof, it is above the eaves and not over the house itself. As a result, the temperature of the roof is again lower. Therefore, the snow hardens again. However, this time, it turns to ice.

Over time or given a large enough snowfall, this process can result in extremely large quantities of ice accumulating toward the edges of the roof. Not only does the weight of the ice pose structural problems for the integrity of the roof. In addition, the ice dam can result in some completely melted snow "pooling" just above the ice dam itself.

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The longer that this trapped water sits on the roof, the greater the risk of leakage becomes.

In essence, ice dams are caused by changes in temperature. If the roof of the house is giving off too much heat, the snow begins to melt and then eventually refreezes. In order to avoid the problem, the best solution is to address the underlying issue of the roof's excessive heat exchange. In many cases, the excess heat is caused by insufficient ventilation. Check that the attic is properly ventilated to allow regular air circulation, from the soffit to the roof ridge. Another important step is to check the floor of the attic for heat exchange "leaks." If too much heat from the interior of the home is escaping into the attic, the heat transfer can cause problems at multiple levels. First, the leakage will result in higher HVAC bills across the board. Secondly, the increased warmth in the attic will cause a greater risk of ice dams.

For those who live in cold climates, the risk of ice dams is very real. To reduce their likelihood, take steps to ventilate the attic and reduce heat transfer through the roof. Otherwise, ice dams can rapidly cause some serious structural consequences.

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