I love building gingerbread houses during the holidays. The gumdrops and peppermints look so sweet along the roofline and front door, and of course, no gingerbread house is complete without icicles made of frosting!
While we all love the look of icicles on gingerbread houses and sparkling on branches in winter, icicles are a menace on your house. The presence of icicles on your roofline can be an indication of ice damming, which is the buildup of ice and snow on steep sloped roofs. While icicles on your roof can look charming during the holidays, this sparkly phenomenon can be sign of a serious roofing problem.
Ice damming is a serious problem in the Midwest, where we experience extreme weather fluctuations during the winter months. Tomorrow we might have a polar vortex and in three days we could all be shedding our coats to bask in the 45 degree sunshine. These drastic temperature changes are difficult for your roof system to handle. Snow piles up on your roof, melts a little (or a lot!) and then refreezes very quickly as soon as the sun goes down. This rapid freezing of snow melt off at your roofline causes ice to push under your shingles, penetrating your roof system and eventually, creating leaks in your roof system. If icicles form on your roof this winter, you should consider this as strong evidence that you may have an ice damming issue.
So what can you do now before the snow hits to help prevent ice damming? Here are our top four tips:
1. Clean out your gutters! Make sure your gutters are free of leaves and debris. Clean gutters will encourage snow melt off to flow freely through and away from your roofline.
2. Heating cables. Although Feze Roofing, Inc. doesn’t install these (you need a licensed and bonded electrician!), heating cables can be an effective way to help prevent ice damming in trouble areas.
3. Proper attic ventilation. Keeping your attic cool in the winter even while the heat is keeping you cozy on the main floor is key to preventing ice dams.
4. Our hottest tip: The best way to prevent ice damming is to have a leak barrier installed under your shingles at the gutter edge and at the eaves, rakes, valleys, and chimney areas. As a GAF MasterElite Contractor, we recommend GAF’s WeatherWatch Leak Barrier, which is one of Feze Roofing’s most valuable tools to prevent leaks caused by ice damming.
In fact, GAF says the following about this remarkable product:
“By creating a barrier at the most vulnerable areas of your asphalt shingle roof (at the eaves and rakes, in valleys, around chimneys, etc.),WeatherWatch® Mineral-Surfaced Leak Barrier helps prevent leaks due to water backing up in your gutters, wind-driven rain, and in the North, damaging ice dams. It will also help protect your home from expensive wall and ceiling staining from leaks. WeatherWatch® Mineral-Surfaced Leak Barrier is a key part of the GAF Lifetime Roofing System. It’s eligible for Lifetime limited warranty when used on Lifetime Shingle roofs and it’s an eligible component of GAF residential enhanced warranties.”
At Feze Roofing, our four decades of experience and our manufacturer backed products like GAF WeatherWatch Leak Barrier give us the right tools to solve your ice damming issues.
Don’t let another winter come and go without addressing your ice damming issues. Call us today at 630-530-5944 for your free estimate!
Feze Roofing, Inc. is an Illinois licensed roofing contractor operating in the Chicagoland area and has been family owned for over 40 years. Your home is your investment. Let us help you protect it. Call us today at 630-530-5944 or fill out a contact form for a free estimate!