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Syracuse Roofing: Article About Protect A Roof From Ice Dams

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Harsh weather can take its toll on a roof, but homeowners don't have to let the snow and freezing temperatures lead to roof leaks. Many people discover that they have ridges of ice that always form along roof eaves during the winter. While it might not seem problematic, especially if it is a regular occurrence during cold weather, ice dams can cause a great deal of damage before a homeowner even knows they have a problem. Many leading Syracuse roofing companies recommend homeowners contact an experienced roofing contractor to help eliminate the issues associated with ice dams.

Ice dams happen when the snow on a roof starts to melt unevenly. When the surface of the roof along the eaves is still freezing and covered with snow, melting snow at higher sections will have no way to drain. The water runs down the slope of the roof and gets backed up behind the snow. Of course, since the roof is still freezing, the water turns to ice. This forms a block or dam of ice along the roof's edge. As more snow melts and works its way down toward the growing ice dam, water can seep under shingles and find its way onto the roof deck.

Unfortunately, once the roof deck gets wet, a homeowner is usually faced with big problems.

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The water leak can travel down joists and rafters. The deck can begin to rot, insulation gets wet and eventually, the water leak will make itself known when walls and ceilings begin to get wet.

The best way to protect a home from the damage that ice dams can cause is to make sure the roof stays cold. A cold roof will prevent uneven snow melt and reduce the likelihood that ice dams will occur. Of course, the underside of the roof must also stay cold. Warm attics will let thermal heat escape through the roof and begin melting snow. Since heat rises, this typically happens at the top of the roof, so the water gets trapped behind snow standing along the eaves.

Roofing contractors will first check to make sure the attic is properly insulated. The right level of insulation can help prevent thermal heat transfer from the home into the attic. The other important factor in maintaining a cool attic is making sure there is adequate air flow. Cool air from outside will help move warm air out of the attic. If necessary, a roofing contractor can install attic fans and vents to ensure good ventilation.

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