How to Avoid Ice Damage to Your Roof

Your roof may be able to withstand a lot during the winter, but the key to keeping your roof strong is making sure it isn’t exposed to more than it can take on. Part of the job of being a conscientious homeowner is taking the extra time to clean your roof, siding, and gutters when bad weather hits so that your home can work its hardest to keep you and your family protected. When it comes to your roof during winter, you’ll most likely need to do a bit more maintenance to avoid the costly, deeply damaging problem of ice dams on your roof. If you’re someone who relies on a roofing decatur ga service to prep your home for winter or give you solid roofing tips, you’re probably already aware that there are lots of things you can do to make your gutters work more efficiently through the year. Rather than having to go out and manually clean your gutters, you can actually figure out a way to make sure your roof is draining properly no matter what the season or the weather. If you’re looking for a better way to keep your roof clear of ice this winter, here are some things you should think about.

Gutter Heaters

If your roof tends to get backed up pretty quickly, investing in gutter heaters can make all the difference. These heaters are thin, protected wires or tubes that are installed on the back of your gutters. In the middle of the winter when several heavy snowfalls keep piling on top of each other, it can be hard for your roof, more specifically your gutters, to cope. Your gutters ideally exist to help keep your roof clear and free of excess moisture, allowing all the excess ice, snow, and debris to come filtering in through the gutter and melt away in the sun. However, sometimes the snow takes much more time melting than is ideal for a roof that’s already seen its fair share of snow and ice. In order to help your gutters do their job properly, the gutter heaters can be plugged in to provide an even stream of heat to your frozen gutters, effectively clearing them out and allowing the snow and ice to more easily melt away. When your gutters stay frozen, so does your roof, allowing ice dams to form that could weaken your home’s structure if they’re not dealt with properly.

Gutter Drains and Top Guards

Your gutters don’t just ice over in the winter. They can end up getting pretty dirty. Even if you go out and clean the icy debris and leaves out of your gutters each and every morning, things are still liable to get backed up, especially after a heavy storm. Installing top guards or vents for your gutters will help filter out larger clutter like dead leaves and falling branches, leaving your gutters free to collect and drain out water as the ice melts. You’ll still have to clean your drains consistently, but it will be a lot less unpleasant with the extra help from your top guards creating that added layer of protection.

Don’t Overheat

Many homeowners imagine that the faster their roof melts the snow and ice, the better it will be during winter. Because of this, they often try to overheat their attics or use melting agents like Quick Melt to get the snow and ice out of the way. However, the opposite is actually true: You need the snow and ice to melt at a slower pace in order not to overwhelm your gutters and form ice dams. Even if ice isn’t forming on your roof itself, it can still cause damage by melting too quickly or even melting unevenly. For best results, keep your attic cool so that your snow and ice can melt at a natural pace. The more important thing to pay attention to is the state of your gutters. Don’t try to remove ice dams and icicles yourself if you see buildup. Either use gutter heaters or ask a professional roofer to come clear away from of the ice.

Keep an Eye Out for Damage

Part of looking out for your roof in the winter includes doing the correct maintenance in spring and summer, once the snow is long gone. After a long winter, take the time to check your roof, gutters and under bearings for any damage they may have undergone in the past year. This is the time to fix that damage before the next wave of cold weather hits. Ignoring or simply failing to notice damage to your roof could end up weakening the structure of your home over time.



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