While staying warm and shoveling snow might be two of your biggest concerns during severe winter weather, there's actually one other thing you should be wary of. The snow on your roof can cause what is known as ice dams and seriously damage your home, warns the (IBHS).
Senior Engineering Director Remington Brown :
"Ice dams form in cold weather when there is a layer of snow on the roof. Heat within the house rises into the attic and warms the roof. The snow on the roof melts a bit, and water runs under the snow down to the roof edge. The lower edge of the roof tends to be coldest because it extends past the warm interior of the house and does not get as much of the structure's heat. At the lower edge, a bit of the water refreezes under the snow and forms a thin layer of ice. When that happens again and again, the thin layer builds up and an ice dam is created. Over time, the ice dam expands to the point where it holds back a pool of water on the roof. The growth of the dam can force that water under the roof coverings such as shingles. From there, the water may find its way into the attic or down the walls of the house."
To best avoid ice dams, IBHS has created to follow:
- Keep drains, scuppers, gutters, and downspouts clear of debris.
- Have a professional connect "" heating cables to drains, gutters, or downspouts to facilitate snowmelt runoff.
- Use a snow rake to carefully , or hire a professional to do so.
- If there's a heat source right under the roof, move it.
- Insulate light fixtures, fans, and vents in and under attics to block heat from reaching the roof.
- Seal vents and fans between the attic and living areas to restrict warm airflow.
Below is an illustration of how ice dams can form, how you can prevent them:
For more safety tips to help better prepare your home for freezing weather, visit .