How to Prevent an Ice Dam Repair in VA

When you get ready to purchase a new home for the first time you can feel great excitement, especially if you have been living in rented accommodations for most of your adult life. It is a big time commitment on your part and you need to be ready for surprise maintenance and repairs on your home that were usually handled by the owner or property manager where you rented. Roof repair should to be at the top of your to do list for home care, especially when the severe weather season rolls around. When you lived in an apartment building it may have never crossed your mind to think about an ice dam on your VA home roof and how they can cause leaks inside your home.

The threat of an ice dam on your VA roof may catch you unaware. When you have an understanding of how the heat inside your house react to the cold air outside it all makes sense. The issue arises with the tendency of hot air to rise inside an enclosed space. If you have climbed up on a stepladder to replace a burned out light bulb you likely detected how much warmer the air at ceiling level felt in contrast with the air at lower levels. Warm air is lighter than cool air. The science of Physics as proven it will rise to the highest point inside your house. It will congregate as high up as the peak of your attic.

Prevent Ice Damming with Proper Attic Ventilation and Insulation

If your roof is poorly insulated the warm air in your attic will over time warm up the roofing materials causing the snow on the peak of your roof to melt. The water makes its way downhill to the edge of the roof where the temperature is much cooler where it freezes. You now have a thin layer of ice along the edge. Within a few days the ice builds up enough to form an ice dam. Some of the melt-off drips over the edge, and creates icicles. You may like the aesthetic appeal of icicles decorating your house, but this is the first indication you are going to have roof leak problems.

Some of the melting water does not make it over the edge of the roof. It backs up behind the ridge of ice along the edge and begins to pool beneath the roof shingles. Given no attention, so much water backs up that it has no choice but to trickle through the roof platform into the attic and wall structure below. You’ll know something is seriously amiss when you see wet patches developing in your ceiling and walls.

You have some choices on how to prevent an ice dam that can cause a roof leak. You can hop onto your roof on sunny days in the winter and shovel off the snow but this can be very tiresome. To eliminate the problem once and for all you will need an appropriate layer of insulation in the attic and proper roof vents to keep the air flow moving. These preventative steps will have an upfront cost but will save you from major roof repairs in the not so distant future.