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Longmont Roofing: Article About Preventing Ice Dams From Forming

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Roofing problems can happen at any time in any kind of weather. Unless you live in the coastal regions, the weather in winter can be a major problem for roofing. Taking the right steps to prevent ice dams can be a great start for the winter months. Ask a friend or family member what they are doing to prevent these major disasters from happening. They might be hiring Longmont roofing to complete their work, but some issues can be prevented alone.

For the most part, Ice dams are not difficult to understand. Most people know that hot air rises and cold water freezes. That is how ice dams form on the lower parts of a roof. When the hot air in the attic is not vented properly, it starts to escape through small openings in the roof. This warm air is constantly melting the snow that is on the roof. The snow eventually turns into water and runs down to a spot on the roof where the attic's warm air cannot reach. The result is a large portion of the lower roof being frozen into a large block of ice. When this ice breaks off because it is too heavy, it brings the roofing shingles, gutter, and anything else that is attached, along with it. It is not until it is too late that you might start to realize what has happened.

It is surprising that many people have never heard of a roofing ice dam.

The roofing contractor experts at Colorado Roof Toppers of Longmont CO can assist you with questions about commercial roofing or flashing.

People who live in California or Florida do not need to worry about preventing these dams. They are more worried about preventing wind damage to their roofing shingles. On the other hand, Alaskans need to worry about these dams all of the time. They are constantly trying to heat up their home to keep out of the negative temperatures in winter.

Thankfully, there are a few things that you as a homeowner can do each winter to prevent these dams from ruining many parts of your roof. The main cause of ice dams is from poor ventilation and not enough insulation in the attic portion of your home. Older homes are known for having less that optimal amounts of ventilation in the attic. This is most likely due to never replacing the old insulation. The UBC requires 1 square foot of ventilation every 300 square feet of attic floor space.

There also needs to be vent areas in the lower and upper portions of the attic. A vapor barrier is required in most installations as well. The roofers will know what the requirements are, but asking them ahead of time can prevent major problems with the end result.

A few simple precautions can help you avoid any major damage. Keeping the gutters clean during winter is a high priority. This will help the melted snow run down the drain all winter. If the attic holds your water heater, try to look for a new location. Proper ventilation can help the hot air escape in other places than through the roof. These simple steps will keep the ice dams in check.

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