Unfortunately, winters here in the Washington, DC metropolitan area can be pretty brutal, bringing not only frigid temperatures but also snow and ice—especially later in the season. Such inclement weather can wreak havoc on your home, the gutters and roof in particular.
The team at Accurate Insulation wants to provide you with some information and possible solutions to your ice and home damage questions so you can have peace of mind this holiday season (and all winter long)!
How Do Ice Dams & Icicles Form?
Ice dams frequently form after snowfall and days of freezing temperatures. Warm air inside your home can escape up into the attic and warm the underside of the roof, which causes snow and ice on the roof to melt. This melted water drains along the roof to the cold overhang and refreezes, forming an ice dam and icicles. What can happen is the ice dam can allow the trapped water to get under the roof shingles and leak into your home.
There are several reasons why the snow on your roof will melt in a way that causes ice dams or icicles:
- Sunlight – Sunlight hits the highest points of your roof and melts the snow. As this occurs, it exposes the mainly dark roofing in the area, absorbing even more heat from the sun. Depending on the direction your home faces, tree coverage and wind direction, this can be a major cause of snow melt.
- Insulation – Another reason for snow melt is lack of insulation. The main living space of your home sits directly under the ridgeline. As the heat of your home penetrates the insulation, this warms the underside of the roof deck and causes snow to melt. This is why it’s important to have the right amount of insulation.
- Air infiltration – Air leaks can be found in several areas of a home, from the walls and windows to vents, electrical sockets and more—and they can allow heat to travel up and warm the roof.
How Can You Fix—or Prevent This Problem?
There are actually a few things you can do to help make sure your home is properly protected against ice damage:
- Have more attic insulation installed
- Make sure your home is properly sealed and ventilated as well, especially the attic
- Keep your gutters clean (dirty gutters can help concentrate ice and water in vulnerable areas)
- Remove snow as soon as possible
- Don’t leave gutter repairs until the last minute (secure, high-performing gutters can do their job—protect your home—more effectively)
Gutter Repair in Maryland & DC
If you want help preventing ice dams or icicles and avoiding other problems that can damage your gutters and roof, let the team at Accurate Insulation help. We repair and replace seamless gutters—and install gutter guards—throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area and look forward to helping you with your project!