With unprecedented winter storms hitting Texas, the Austin area is at greater risk from ice damming than ever.
Ice damming is a serious problem that can be devastating for shingle roofs. Although most metal residential roofs are designed to prevent it, homeowners should remain diligent no matter what type of roof they have.
If you notice icicles hanging from your eaves or water entering the home, ice damming may be the culprit.
What Is an Ice Dam?
An ice dam is an icy build-up on the eaves of a sloped roof, caused by melting snow re-freezing when it reaches the eave. There are three major causes of ice damming to be aware of:
- -Insufficient or damaged insulation found in your attic ceiling
- -Poor ventilation throughout the home, which slows melting
- -Leaking gaps between the home’s living space and the attic
As snow on the roof begins to melt, heat from the house can cause the snow closer to the roof to turn into water.
That water may slowly make its way down to the gutter or it may penetrate underneath the shingles. Snow that reaches the gutter will remain there, causing the barrier that re-freezes and holds water on the roof.
Storm Damage -- Preventing and Responding to an Ice Dam
Shingle roofs are designed to shed water. If water remains for any period of time, damage can result. Because in Texas roofs are not designed for extreme snow and Ice accumulation, leaks may result. In most cases these are one time events that won't occur again unles a similar event occurs. We recommend that you monitor your roof and attic for the next several rain events to make sure that thes leaks do not reoccur.
If you want to make sure that in the future you are protected from the extreme conditions the ideal solution is to have a leak barrier in place at the eaves. This automatically seals every nail going through the leak barrier. The roof becomes much more resistant to an ice dam’s effects. Because of the high cost of retrofitting existing roofs with these barriers we recommend installing ice & water shield around all eaves and valleys the next time your roof is replaced.
Call a trusted Austin roofer like Longhorn Roofing when you are ready to get a new roof installed.