What You Should Know About Ice Dams

As much as people like the colder weather up North and no matter how much fun the snow can be to play in and look at during the winter time, it can cause a wide range of issues for your home, especially the roofing system. When the snow on your house begins to melt, it flows off like rain. However, if the temperatures drop again after the snow starts melting, you face a new problem: ice dams. The formation of ice dams on your roof can cause major damage to the roof and other parts of your home and can lead to extensive and costly repairs in the winter as well as in the spring when the snow and ice all begins to melt. Here at Stay Dry Roofing we have experience with winter roof care and maintenance and can assist you so you know everything you need to know about ice dams this winter.

What Exactly Are Ice Dams?

“There is a complex interaction among the amount of heat loss from a house, snow cover and outside temperatures that leads to ice dam formation. For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof’s outside surface must be above 32 degrees F while lower surfaces are below 32. For a portion of the roof to be below 32, outside temperatures must also be below 32. When we say temperatures above or below 32, we are talking about average temperature over sustained periods of time. The snow on a roof surface that is above 32 will melt. As water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32 and freezes. Voila! – an ice dam” (University of Minnesota Extension).

ice on the roof

The dams form and can quickly grow because it is being steadily fed by the melting snow above it. However, the ice will only form in areas of the roof where the roofing material reaches 32 degrees or colder. When the water hit this area, it will refreeze and form the ice dam and stop the water from flowing any farther off the roof’s edge.  So, the water above the dam backs up and stays in a melted liquid state because it is in contact with roofing material that is above freezing. This water finds cracks and openings in the exterior roof covering and flows into the attic space. From the attic, it could flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the ceiling finish.

This is why it is important to be mindful of ice dams this winter and why you need to be mindful of how well your roofing system is insulated and if any known damage is present before the snow and ice begin to accumulate.

Do Ice Dams Cause Damage to Homes?

Ice dams are a common cause for roof leaks, and if your roof is leaking you could end up with expensive interior damages. Leaks can lead to wet and infective insulation which only worsen the heat and air exchange between your home and the outside air. Water that gets into your home can ruin ceiling and walls and even reach to your floor where it can rot floorboard and ruin carpeting. All of this wet material can cause mold and mildew to form which can not only worsen the decay and staining but it can put you and your family at risk for health issues.  Individuals who have allergies or who are sensitive to things like old can become very sick and even be hospitalized because of the mold. Other conditions can be made worse and many people experience sinus infections, chronic coughs, and other problems because of the mold caused by a leaky roofing system.  Ice dams can make existing damage worse and can cause even more damage which is why you must be mindful of them and be vigilant during the winter and understand how these ice dams form and lead to damage.

snow on the roof

“Heat from the house travels to the roof surface in three ways: conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction is heat energy traveling through a solid. A good example of this is the heating of a cast iron frying pan. The heat moves from the bottom of the pan to the handle by conduction. If you put your hand above the frying pan, heat will reach it by the other two methods. The air right above the frying pan is heated and rises. The rising air carries heat/energy to your hand. This is heat transfer by convection…In a house, heat moves through the ceiling and insulation by conduction through the slanted portion of the ceiling. In many homes, there is little space in regions like this for insulation, so it is important to use insulations with high R-value per inch to reduce heat loss by conduction” (University of Minnesota Extension). R-value is how well the material will insulate so three inches of insulation with a 25 R-value is better than three inches of insulation with a 15 R-value. A local roofing expert, like our team here at Stay Dry Roofing, can assist you with finding the best insulation for your attic and roof so you can prepare for the coming snow and ice and so you can work to prevent ice dams this winter.

Can Ice Dams be Prevented?

The best strategy for preventing ice dams is to keep your roof cold. First, make sure you have the right kind of insulation installed, using R-38 at the very least. Next, it is important to inspect your roofing system inside and out at least once a year but two or more times a year is ideal. This will ensure you are noting any and all changes and can detect problems and damages when they are minor. Dealing with them before they have the chance to get out of hand is critical! You also should do routine checks of your roof to look for leaks where air can move between your home and the outside. These are known as energy leaks and are a prime place for roof damage to occur, especially if you do get ice dams forming. Your best bet is to work with a roofing professional to come in and test your home for energy leaks, particularly up to the roof, after which they can recommend the best course of action.

If your home is due for some remodeling or repairs involving the roof or siding, take the opportunity to find and seal air leaks and upgrade your insulation.  You may also want to consider a new roof or a major upgrade to ensure your roofing system is ready for the winter cold ahead. Preventing ice dams from forming will save you money overall, by increasing the lifespan of your roof, keeping your roof in good condition, maintaining the integrity of your home’s structure, and keeping insulation in peak working condition. For a professional inspection or for emergency help in the event of an ice dam, contact Stay Dry Roofing today and let us help you with the best local expert roofing care available. Call now to get started and protect your home from ice dams this winter!

Basic Roof Maintenance Tips for the New Year

The roofing system of your home or business is the first line of dense against the elements and helps protect you and your family and your possessions from weather-related damages. It is important to take care of your roofing system and to be sure you are choosing the right roof and care routine for your roof and your area. To make the most of roof maintenance tips for the new year you need to understand what your roof does and how it reacts to weather events in your area!

“Extreme weather was a major factor in raising roofing sales and production numbers in 2016. Keith Lowe, Vice-president of Sales for IKO, said, “This was one of the largest storm years we’ve had in the past four years, and the demand for roofing was definitely up. We anticipate this momentum to continue into 2017, as we don’t expect storm activity to slow down.” Storm data statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concur noting that 20,237 significant storms were recorded in 2016. While that’s a slight increase from 2015 (19,172), it represented the highest number in about three years and it was sufficient to cause disruption in the asphalt shingle supply chain. If you’re planning to replace your roof, please consider the climate changes you’ve experienced lately in your area and select the right asphalt shingles for those evolving conditions” (IKO)

roof inspections

Roof Maintenance Tips for the New Year

There are many things you can do to prolong the life of your roofing material and prevent leaks, additional damage or even the dreaded replacement. It is the start of a new year so we here at Stay Dry Roofing wanted to share some basic roof maintenance tips for the new year!

 

Inspect Your Roof
You should be inspecting your roof at least twice a year. You also should be doing some kind of inspection and check up on your roof after every major storm to check for damage. Use a pair of binoculars to conduct this twice yearly exam. Avoid walking on your roof unless absolutely necessary because you can damage the shingles, panels, and tiles of your roof by walking on them. If you must get on the roof, wear rubber-soled shoes, secure the ladder so it doesn’t slide, and use caution so you do not slip and fall.

tips for good roof care

Replace Missing Materials
To prevent additional damage like leaking water damage, further wear and tear, and damage to the lower roofing supports, you need to do everything you can to replace broken or missing roofing materials as soon as possible. This is one of the most important things you can do to keep up with roof maintenance tips for the new year. A weak spot will allow the elements free access and most likely more material will break loose. Without it being taken care of, small damage and quickly grow into bigger and more severe issues that cost more to replace!

 

Do Not Power Wash
Many homeowners make one big mistake when it comes to roof maintenance tips for the new year. They think that getting rid of mold and mildew and stains from their roof with a pressure washer is a good idea. This, however, is not a good idea at all, and it will often lead to bigger problems and even worse damage. The pressure from a power washer can cause unseen damage and drive water in under your shingles or tiles, blazing a path for future problems. It’s best to talk to the roofing experts at Stay Dry Roofing for ideas on how to clean your roof.

 

Remove Debris
Another way to get started with the best roof maintenance tips for the new year is to tackle the debris outside of your house as well as inside. Clear the roof and gutters of leaves, branches and other debris. Gutters and downspouts need to be kept clear so the water can flow off your roof freely. If they are clogged with leaves and sticks the water can back up and pool on the roof where it can leak into the home as it soaks into the shingles. Leaf debris the accumulates on the roof can hold water and can cause mold and moisture to begin rotting the roofing material.

 

Trim Trees
Trees and branches are serious culprits for roof damage so another one of the important roof maintenance tips for the new year is to address issues with your trees and landscapes. Branches leaning over the roof can break and fall during a heavy snowfall or during a bad storm. Branches rubbing against the root and eves and tear off shingles and fascia and damage the roofing system. Having a lot of trees around your home can also lead to a lot of work removing leaf debris every week. If you need help call in roofing professionals or tree care experts to cut your trees back.

 

Talk to the Experts
If you spot potential roofing problems, call the experts at Stay Dry Roofing as soon as you can. Our professional team brings years of experience working with tile, shingle, shake, metal and other popular materials on everything from residential to commercial projects. No matter how big or small your roof is or how big or small your needs are we are here to help!  Call us today to get started and to see for yourself what we can do for your roofing system and to see how we can make roof maintenance tips for the new year a simple task to check off your to-do list!

 

Roof Snow Removal Tips That Work

Any homeowner who has spent more than one or two winters in the North knows how much snow can accumulate on a roof and how fast it can build up. Chances are anyone who lives in the North also knows how devastating snow and ice accumulate on the roof can be for the structure below. If you are looking for some roof snow removal tips that work then this is the article you do not want to gloss over! The team of roofing experts here at Stay Dry Roofing have years of experience working with winter roof care and maintenance including snow and ice removal. We have seen first hand how damaging winter weather can be for the homes and businesses in the area and we are here to help!  If you have any concerns at all about your roof this winter or you have questions about to care for your roof, give us a call.

Why do I need to get the snow removed from my roof?

The main reason you should keep your roof as snow-free as possible during the winter is that this is a crucial step in preventing ice dams from forming on your roof. Ice dams can’t form without snow because they rely on snows melting and re-freezing on the roof.  If you’re able to prevent ice dams, you’re far more likely to prevent your roof from leaking and damaging the inside of your home. And this all starts with keeping the amount of snow on your roof at a minimum.  Another reason roof snow removal is so important is that it’s a good idea to keep all that excess weight off your roof.  Snow can get quite heavy and ice that forms from refreezing snow melts can be even heavier and put a lot of stress on the support structures of your home. As a rule of thumb, one square-foot of snow that’s one-inch deep weighs about a pound.  If your roof has 12 inches of snow on it, that could easily amount to thousands of pounds of stress on your roof, which is much more than most roofs are rated to safely support for long periods of time. That’s not even counting the weight of any ice dams that may form as a result of leaving the snow on your roof; just one cubic foot of ice weighs 57 pounds, and a typical ice dam can weigh thousands of pounds.  So, finding and implementing roof snow removal tips that work is one of the best things you can do to protect your property this winter.

How do I know when roof snow removal is necessary?

There is some debate among roofing contractors and homeowners as to how much snow and ice is too much to have building up on a roof. It depends partly on the age of the roofing system, they style roof you have, the materials used, how well the roof has been maintained, and the environmental factors that are at a play. Here at Stay Dry Roofing, we think a good rule of thumb is to get your roof cleared after every 6 inches of snowfall.  If you prevent too much snow from piling up on your roof, it’s much harder for ice dams to form and you can certainly stop worrying about any sort of roof cave-in. If you know your area is prone to massive snow dumps over a short period of time with winter storms, or you have had issues with ice dams and heavy snow loads in the past, you are going to want to stay on top of snow removal and do it more often.

When deciding the right time to get roof snow removal, it’s also important to take into account how heavy the snow is.  Snow can vary in its weight by quite a bit. Wet, heavy snow can weigh 6 or more times as much as lighter dryer snow.  One cubic foot of snow can typically range in weight from as little as 0.26lbs (light, dry snow) to as much as 1.66lbs. (heavy, wet snow).  Wet snow that seems damp and leaves your gloves or clothes damp may indicate a need for more routine snow removal. Soft, light powdery snow can accumulate more without being too heavy. Though it is important to note that 12 inches of light fluffy snow can get wet and heavy if there is a small period of thawing temperatures or heavier wetter snow falls on top of it. How often you need to get your roof cleared also depends partly on the weather forecast and what the weather is like, how much snow is predicted to falls, and what the temperatures for the next few days look like.  Stay Dry Roofing knows snow and winter roof care and we can help you with roof snow removal tips that work and roof care services that take care of all the hard stuff for you.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Snow Removal

We have seen homeowners try with the best of interests to deal with snow and ice accumulation on their own but many times it does not work out too well. It is always best to trust the experts with  your roofing needs, but if you want to do what you can to take care of your roofing system this winter, here are a few “do’s and don’ts” of roof snow removal you need to know:

  • Do remove the snow either by shovel or by rake, whichever is easiest and safest for you, so that you reduce the chance of ice dams forming.
  • Don’t use salt products on your roof because it can damage your roof materials and damage your yard and driveway, and anything located below on the ground.
  • Don’t use heat cables as we have found them to be fairly expensive and not all that effective once the snow has accumulated past 6 inches deep.
  • Do remember to reduce ice dams, snow should not accumulate past 6 inches and to reduce the chance of roof collapse, snow should not accumulate past 12 inches.
  • Do be careful to avoid any overhead power lines, cables, tree limbs or anything else hanging over your property when you are raking your roof.
  • Do make sure you clear the overhangs and eves and all areas of the roof to ensure snow and ice loads do not grow too heavy.
  • Don’t try to remove the snow yourself if you are unsure as it is best to call in the experts to handle heavy snow and ice removal safely and effectively.
  • Don’t use a shovel with a metal edge or shovel your entire roof more than a handful of times each winter, as it can gouge and damage roofing materials.
  • Don’t leave any snow pathways on your roof—caused by walking back and forth through the snow as this can lead to uneven weight distribution.
  • Do be very wary of any roof snow removal companies whose rates are surprisingly low as they are usually doing a half-assed job and it will show.
  • Do realize that the best snow and ice dam removal teams will be thorough, communicative, and honest with you about the cost of services and what you need.

ice and snow on the roof

Contact Us Today

To learn more about roof snow removal tips that work and to find the best roofing contractors in the area to work with this winter, give us a call here at Stay Dry Roofing. Our team of experienced roof care experts are ready to help you get through this winter without incident and if something should arise, we will be there to help you through it every step of the way.  Call now for a consultation appointment and no obligation estimate!

 

Dealing With Icicles on the Roof Safely

Sub-freezing temperatures and warmer sunny periods during the day can create one of the many breath-taking sights of a winter wonderland-icicles. While these icy creations are pretty in scenic pictures and are considered a part of the winter season, they do have a darker and even dangerous side. Icicles can actually pose a real danger to people, pets, and property, especially if they are not removed the correct way. That is why we here at Stay Dry Roofing wanted to take some time to address the importance of dealing with icicles on the roof in a safe and effective manner.

Dangers icicles pose

Clogged gutters and downspouts are among of the biggest contributors to icicle formation. When the gutters cannot drain properly the water backs up and freeze into sheets and rivers of ice. Icicles on the roof will begin to form and grow. To prevent icicles from forming, keep your gutters clear of leaves, needles, and other debris. Clogged gutters will quickly accumulate ice and snow which can drastically increase the weight the gutters and eaves of our home are having to support. It is common for gutters to tear off the roof under the sheer weight of ice and snow. This can damage the roof and property around the home and can seriously injure anyone in the vicinity. When gutters are clogged you can also get ice dam formations along with icicles on the roof. “The three things necessary to form icicles — snow, heat to melt the snow and cold weather — are also needed to form ice dams… Ice dams form when warm air from inside your home melts snow on the roof. When the meltwater reaches the colder eaves (the part of the roof that extends beyond the walls), the water refreezes and creates a buildup of ice along the edge of your roofline, states the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety” (IBHS). So, icicles hanging from a roof could indicate a serious ice dam problem but it is important to remember that ice dams can form with no icicles on the roof and icicles can form even when there is no ice dam present at all.

snow ice and icicles

 

Protecting people, property, and pets

When too much ice builds up, the sheets of ice can break off, icicles can snap and fall and heavy snow drifts can fall, causing damage to people and property below. Trying to chip the ice from the gutters and trying to knock off the icicles on the roof while balancing on a ladder are both extremely dangerous and can cause even more damage and greater injury. When you have a problem with ice and snow accumulation and have icicles you need to safely remove, it’s best to enlist the support of a roofing professional. Melting snow and ice can cause water damage to your roof and attack and dripping icicles can cause water damage to your eaves and the foundation of your home. The best way to protect your home from water damage and damage caused by heavy ice and snow and the best way to protect your family and pets from the dangers of falling icicles and snow packs is to call in professional roofing help.

Thousands injured from falls off ladders

Before you clean your gutters, however, make sure you review your ladder safety notes and follow proper ladder safety measures. In the United States, falls from ladders is a leading cause of home-based injuries. “Ladder-related injuries per 100,000 people rose almost 27 percent during the 16-year study period — 97.3 percent occurred in non-occupational settings, such as homes and farms. More than 2.1 million people needed to be hospitalized, about twice the overall admission rate for consumer-product related injuries” (ISHN). If it is not worth the risk of a fall to try and get your roof and gutters cleared off. Always know your limits and if you do not feel you can do it safely and properly then wait till you are able to call in expert help to deal with ice, snow, and icicles on the roof!

Ladder Safety 101

If you do decide to get on a ladder to deal with snow and icicles on the roof then follow these basic ladder safety tips each and every time!

  • The ladder should extend at least 3 feet over the roofline to ensure you are not reaching too far back behind the center of gravity.
  • Always use a ladder on flat ground and make sure you are using leg levelers to balance the ladder when using one on soft or uneven ground.
  • Check the ladder’s maximum load rating and make sure your weight combined with any supplies you are carrying does not exceed the weight limits.
  • Straight and adjustable ladders should not be used unless they have slip-resistant feet and are in good working order.
  • Do not use a metal ladder if your roof has power lines running to it and do not use near power lines or electrical equipment; a wood or fiberglass ladders is safer.
  • Make sure to inspect the ladder before using it and make sure all rungs, locks, and spreader braces are in good order and properly engaged before getting on the ladder.
  • If possible, have someone with you who can hold the ladder and act as a spotter for you while you are on the ladder and on the roof as well.

Hire a contractor

Getting on your roof yourself is not recommended if you’re not used to regularly climbing ladders at those heights. If you do not use ladders on a regular basis as part of your job and are not rained in proper ladder safety measures it is best to call in the experts rather than risking it on your own.  When looking for a roofing contractor, make sure you check to ensure you are working with a professional company and area avoiding scams and fakes.  Ask to see their business license, proof of insurance, certifications, permanent business address, and Better Business Bureau rating. Here at Stay Dry Roofing, we have decades of experience and years of hands-on training and our team of roofing experts are ready to go to work for you. Call us today to schedule a free consultation appointment and let us show you what we can do for you and how we can help you deal with icicles on the roof safely!

Why You Should Not Use Rock Salt on Your Roof

Rock salt is well known for its damaging effects on roads, driveways, other outdoor surfaces, and even vehicles. However, there is another time when it can do damage — when you use rock salt on your roof. Most homeowners know the dangers of snow and ice accumulation on the roof. Unfortunately, many reach for the rock salt to cut through the snow and ice. “When the snow piles high in the winter, most of us are not concerned with the harmful results of applying roof melt chemicals. Afterall, salts and roof melt chemicals are a recognized and relatively easy method to melt snow and prevent ice build-up. What is not understood is the downstream damaging impact of using salts and chemicals” (HotEdge). It is a bad idea to use rock salt on your roof for a number of important reasons:

Why You Shouldn’t Use Rock Salt on Your Roof

While it works and will remove snow and ice from your roof and prevent accumulation, it is not recommended to use rock salt on your roof. In this article, we hope to address the main reasons why rock salt is not a good way to cure ice dams:

  • It is ineffective: Rock salt can melt ice only at temperatures down to 20° F (-6.67° C). What this means in layman’s terms is it will only work if the temperature is on the ‘warm side of freezing’ or 20 to 32° F (-6.67 to 0° C).
  • It is not practical: Another disadvantage to trying to use rock salt to melt ice dams is that the typical ice dam is made of many hundreds of gallons of frozen water and can be extremely heavy. The sheer volume of snow and ice that can be on a roof that has not been cleared in a while would require too many pounds of rock salt to melt it to be truly practical.
  • It rusts nail heads: Rock salt may not damage the shingles themselves, but it can cause the nails holding your shingles to the roof to corrode. In turn, this rust can cause stains and streaks on your roof. Additionally, if they get too bad, the nails can rust through and break, thus causing your shingles to become loose and get damaged.
  • It rusts other building materials: Rock salt that you scatter along your roof will not stay there for long. As it melts, the ice and as the weather affects the salt, it will wash over the eaves and over the rest of your roofing system. It can corrode downspouts and also damage driveways and sidewalks where the melted salt ends up pooling.
  • It can damage garden plants: Once rock salt melts and mixes with water, it will drip down the roof and through the downspouts. When it pours out of the downspout and drips off the eaves of your roof, it can reach garden beds and “poison” the soil. Salt is damaging to plants and very few varieties are tolerant enough to withstand the dangerous levels that can occur when you use rock salt on your roof.
  • It can damage masonry: Melted water with rock salt mixed can drip off the roof edge and onto stone or brick masonry. Salt particles can easily get in through the porous surfaces build up quickly. The true danger is that this salt accumulation can greatly speed up the freeze-thaw damage in much the same way as it does with common concrete/asphalt driveway damage.

How to Remove Ice Dams Without Using Rock Salt

First of all, while rock salt is a bad idea, please do not use table salt as a rock salt substitute!  It has the exact same chemical composition; the only difference is that it is ground up into smaller pieces. So, the damage and risks are exactly the same as if you use rock salt on your roof.

Also, it is very risky to chip away at an ice dam with a hammer, ice pick, or shovel. There is a very high risk of losing your footing on the snow and ice and falling from the roof. Chipping away with a sharp or heavy object will likely damage your shingles, which are already brittle from the cold. Additionally, using these kinds of tools to remove snow and ice will make it easier for you to fall if you lose your balance.

It is better to try and clear off snow build up from the ground or from a short-run ladder. You can utilize a long-handled roof rake to clear snow away and prevent the thaw and refreeze that causes ice dams to form. You can also better insulate and ventilate your attic and control the temperatures inside your home to help reduce the thawing risk this winter. This can help you avoid the need to use rock salt on your roof.

In extreme cases, it is always advisable to hire a professional roofer to deal with your roofing concerns. They can get rid of the snow and ice buildup safely without risking damage to your roof, your home, or yourself. And they can get the job done without needing to use rock salt on your roof or other damaging products that can do more harm than good.

Contact Stay Dry Roofing Today

To learn more about snow and ice removal and how to prevent ice dams this winter, contact Stay Dry Roofing today. Don’t resort to risky moves like trying to use rock salt on your roof. Trust the roofing experts and get your roof ready now before the heavy snows start to fall! Call today and schedule a consultation appointment and let the Stay Dry Roofing team come to inspect your roof and develop a winter care plan that is customized for you!

 

Understanding the Risk of Snow and Ice Accumulation on the Roof

Extreme winter weather is bad for people but is also poses a serious risk for your roofing system as the risk of snow and ice accumulation grows the deeper into a brutal winter we get. Roof care for the winter months is critical to keeping your roof in good shape all year round. It is also the biggest contributing factor to prevent roof damage and roof collapse due to snow and ice accumulation. “Snow and ice can collapse roofs, especially on older buildings. Older buildings have a greater risk of corrosion, which can weaken its structural integrity. Newer buildings that have roofs made of light-weight metal, roofs that are flat, or roofs that do not have a lot of supports are more likely to give-in under the pressure of excess snow and ice. Snow drifts on a flat roof that have projections, a lower roof, or other equipment can accumulate snow that has drifted with the wind. This can cause vulnerability unless additional strengthening supports are added. One should contact a professional about safely removing excess snow and ice from a roof” (Polygon Group).

winter roof care in Indianapolis

Prepare Before the Snow and Ice Hits

“There is a complex interaction among the amount of heat loss from a house, snow cover and outside temperatures that leads to ice dam formation. For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof’s outside surface must be above 32 degrees F while lower surfaces are below 32…The snow on a roof surface that is above 32 will melt. As water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32 and freezes…The dam grows as it is fed by the melting snow above it, but it will limit itself to the portions of the roof that are on the average below 32” (University of Minnesota Extension).

You can make sure your roof is in the best shape possible to handle the snow and ice that is coming by inspecting it now and taking care of any damage or issue before winter hits. To help keep ice off roofs that are sloped, and to reduce the rate at which the ice accumulates on the roof, it is important to make sure attics are well ventilated so the snow won’t melt and refreeze as ice. When the attic isn’t properly ventilated the hot air of the home accumulates and causes the melting and freezing that creates dangerous ice dams. Melted snow and ice can enter a roof via the eaves and flat roofs can experience water damage if ice dams form and prevent water from flowing into drains on a roof. Gutters can also fill with snow and melt that refreezes into ice which can weigh down the eves and cause problems when the weight load gets too heavy. Preventative maintenance is crucial during the winter months to help avoid costly repairs and one of the biggest examples of the risk of snow and ice accumulation that exists is the sheer weight that can accumulate on the roof!

preparing for winter roofing needs

 

Estimate How Much Weight Your Roof Can Support

Snow may seem light and fluffy, but if you have ever been trapped under snow or have sunk to your waist in a snow drift than you know how heavy it can be. Now think about 5-10 feet of that sitting on your roof after a few months of weekly snow storms and snowfall. It is easy to see how the weight can get a bit excessive, but just how heavy can it get? Here are some figures to help put it in perspective:

  • Unless the roof has been damaged or weakened somehow, most modern roofing systems 10 years old or younger should be able to support 20 lbs of weight per square foot of roofing space before it gets to a dangerous level.
  • In some areas of the country where heavy snows and long brutal winters are common, the snow loads used in home design may be considerably higher and can withstand a much larger load before becoming stressed.
  • If you live in a high snow area, you can probably check building codes and look up the reports for when your home or office building was built and see what the specs were for the roofing system that you currently have.

risk of snow and ice accumulation

Evaluate Your Risk of Rooftop Snow/Ice Accumulation

  • Melting snow will drip off steeply sloped roofs faster, giving it less chance to refreeze as ice and build up under the snow load. This is why the roofs of many northern homes and those in high snow areas are usually built with a steep slope.
  • Ice and snow will accumulate much faster on low slope and flat roofs because it has a much longer time in contact with the cold snow and can refreeze before it all has the chance to run off the rooftop and will build thick layers of ice.
  • Poor ventilation of the home and attic will also make you more prone to ice and snow load damage. Heat from the home can melt the snow so it liquifies or turns to slush, but it will quickly refreeze when temperatures dip at night.
  • Older roofing systems are at an increased risk of snow and ice accumulation because older roofs are not often designed to withstand heavy loads. They also may not be designed to reduce the chance of ice accumulation and snow load.

Estimate How Much the Snow on Your Roof Weighs

Using these guidelines from The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety you can use the following to see if your roof is supporting too much snow and ice weight:

  • Fresh snow: 10–12 inches of new snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lb per square foot of roof space, so you could have up to 4 feet of new snow before the roof will become stressed.
  • Packed snow: 3–5 inches of old snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lb per square foot of roof space, so anything more than 2 feet of old snow could be too much for your roof to handle.
  • Total accumulated weight: 2 feet of old snow and 2 feet of new snow could weigh as much as 60 lb per square foot of roof space, which is beyond the typical snow load capacity of most roofs.
  • Ice: 1 inch of ice equals 1 foot of fresh snow.

winter roofing experts

Snow Removal May be Necessary to Avoid Roof Collapse

“If you are in the “danger zone” …or if the loads you estimate based on the thickness of the various types of snow and ice exceed 20–25 psf, you should consider removing snow from your roof. For safe removal that won’t endanger you or damage your roof, use a snow rake with a long extension arm that will allow you to remove the snow while standing on the ground or hire a snow removal contractor” (Disaster Safety). The risk of snow and ice accumulation and the danger it poses to your roofing system is not something to ignore or take lightly. A roof collapse is a serious event and can lead to loss of property and possessions and can even result in loss of life!  It is not a risk that you should take!

Stay Dry Roofing is Here to Help

To get the best wintertime roofing care and to find out more about what you can do to reduce your risk of snow and ice accumulation this season, contact us today!  Stay Dry Roofing is ready to help you with all of your roofing needs and now is the time to have your roof inspected and damage dealt with before the winter chill sets in and the snow and ice begin to accumulate. Contact our team now for a consultation appointment and to learn more about protecting your roofing system from snow and ice damage this winter!

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Get Rid of Roof Mold Once and For All

Most of us who own a home, have a hard time not getting freaked out at the sight of mold. Its nasty, its ugly, and in some cases, it can even make you sick! The stuff grows everywhere and can be found in many areas of the home- old food in the fridge, the drains in the bathroom, the mulch in the garden, and yes, it can even grow on your roof! Thankfully, if your roof gets moldy you don’t have to throw it out like the food in the fridge and you can clean it up unlike the mold in the garden.  You can take back your roof and get it back to a beautiful look easily if you know what to do. Here’s how to get rid of roof mold,  clean your roof, and keep that nasty stuff from coming back.

get rid of roof moldRoof Mold- What’s in a Name

A lot of the dark blotches and streaks that can be seen running down the shingles of roofs in the area is not actually mold, but is usually a form of algae. Chances are though you could care less what it is, you just want it gone and off your roof! Mold also can grow on the roof when plant materials and dirt accumulate in the cracks and crevices of the shingles or tiles. Thankfully there many cleaning products available that can get algae and mold off your roof safely and effectively. You can’t do anything to prevent algae and mold spores from getting thrown around in the air and landing on your roof.  You can slow down the growth however by keeping your roof clean of leaf debris and organic matter so there is less for it to grow on!

Get Rid Roof Mold Easily

Traditional cleaning methods for dirty roofs involved using a bleach and water solution that was sprayed on the roof and allowed to sit for 10-15minut sand then rinsed off. This can get your roof clean but it can damage your roof if the bleach concentration is too strong or harm plants and grass under the roof when the solution is rinsed off. There are natural organize cleaning solutions on the market today that can be used to get rid of roof mold safely without the risk to your home, plants, pets, or family. One drawback of these cleaning solutions is that because they are not using chemical cleaners, they take a little time and repeated use to get full results and they have to be reapplied on a regular basis every few weeks or months.

A Better Way to Clean Your Roof

roof system maintenance

The best option for cleaning off mold and algae is to call in the professionals and let them take care of things for you. They have the tools, equipment, products, and skills need to get rid of roof mold safely and effectively.  You will not have to worry about doing something wrong that damages your roof or fighting a constant battle of trying to get rid of roof mold. The experts can handle everything for you and you will have more time to enjoy your home rather than sweating away for hours on end up on the roof. DIY projects are popular for around the house projects but work that involves the roof is best left to the professionals and the experts who have the experience needed to do it right.

Prevent Roof Mold Down the Road

There are some simple steps you can take to get rid of roof mold and keep it from returning and causing problems. The simplest option is to apply a cleaning or treatment product that is made for long-term mold killing. Another popular trick homeowners have used as a preventative measure is to install zinc or copper strips on the top ridge. You simply slip the strips under the shingles, leaving the metal partially exposed, and nail the strips in place. These metals have natural elements that fight old growth and kill organic compound that can lead to mold and algae growth. You can also work to keep your home from being overly shady and damp by trimming back tree branches so the sun can reach your roof and dry it out.

roof moldsContact Us Today

Most homeowners get a little sick to their stomach at the sight of mold, whether it is in the kitchen, bathroom, garden, or the roof. Thankfully, if your roof gets moldy you have options and don’t have to throw it out like moldy food or replace it like moldy potting soil. Today we have gone over some of the ways you can get rid of roof mold and keep it from coming back. For professional help and assistance with all of your roof maintenance, care, and replacement needs, contact us today at Stay Dry Roofing. Our team of experts can get to the bottom of your mod issues, find effective ways to remove and prevent mold growth and keep your roof looking great all year round.  Call us now and get rid of roof mold once and for all!

 

roofing care and maintenance

Six Ways Trees Can Cause Roof Damage

We all know that the roof is a key component of any building and it is essential to the overall integrity and beauty of your home. And naturally, we want to preserve it in any way we can. One surprising source of roof damage, however, are trees. To keep your roof in the best possible shape and to reduce the impact the trees in your landscape have on your roof, be mindful of these dangers:

Dangling and overhanging limbs. 

Obviously, a large tree leaning over your home or a giant branch from an old oak tree reaching across your home is a threat to your roof and your home in general.  You run the very real risk of limbs breaking due to age and weight or being snapped off during a storm. In bad weather or when a tree starts to die the entire thing can fall over, crushing anything in its path- including your roof. In order to avoid this, be sure to keep limbs cut back away from your home as much as you can and have weakened or dying trees removed as soon as possible to avoid major roof damage!

damage from tree limbs

Clogged gutters and downspouts. 

Leaves, sticks, twigs, moss, and dead plant matter can quickly accumulate in your gutters. Sometimes with a lot of trees around your home and bad winds or rains, enough leaf material can fall that your gutters can clog up in a single day. When they are clogged, your guttered are basically useless and cannot drain water away from your home. This can allow water too pool on the roof and seep into your home where it can do massive amounts of damage very quickly. Gutter guards can help a lot but there is no replacement for good ole routine cleanouts every week to keep guttered clear.

Leaves and needles and debris.  

Leaf material and other bits and pieces of the trees that fall can clog your cutters, but they can also directly affect your roof and can lead to significant damage. Dead plants will decompose as moisture is trapped in the accumulating leaf litter. This can cause rot and decay of your roofing shingles and if it progresses the decay can spread into the deeper components of your roofing system. Left alone for too long, your entire roof can be compromised as the decay spreads and the weight of the accumulating leaf debris gets heavier and heavier with every storm. This ultimately causes severe roof damage.

Too much shade in the yard.

Trees are wonderful in a landscape and many homeowners love large shady trees. However, too much of a good thing is a bad thing and this is true for shade as well. Too many large trees around your home will shield fallen mold spore from the UV light of the sun. This allows them to grow rapidly and spread, which can cause problems with the structural integrity of your roof. Roofs that stay too damp and shady because of the trees are at a higher risk for experiencing roof damage caused by mold and mildew. Thinning the trees or removing some of them is the only way to remedy this problem.

roof damage from trees

Critter and pest infestations. 

Most people understand that trees are part of nature but this means that animals will be living in them and the closer the trees are to our home the closer the animals are as well. Birds, squirrels, bugs, all have trees as their chosen abode. If they can easily get from their home to your home they may decide to move in because your home offers more food and shelter choices for them. Pests can chew their way into your roofing system and cause damage both to the exterior and interior of your home. This is why keeping branches away from the home is something that must be done.

Trees in danger of falling over. 

While not a common occurrence thankfully, a fallen tree is without a doubt the most damaging and disastrous. This type of roof damage can be catastrophic so it is essential to keep an eye on the health and integrity of trees that are close enough to hit your home if they were to fall. If the tree begins to sag, lean, or shows signs of disease or an insect infestation, it’s wise to look into having it removed altogether. It is a pain can be expensive but it better than the alternative to be sure and will be the best choice to protect your home and your family.

Contact Us Today

To learn more about how to avoid rood damage from the trees in your yard and to find out what you need to do to stay on top of roof maintenance, give us a call today at Stay Dry Roofing. Our team of roofing experts can help you with all of your roofing needs. We can help with design and new installation projects, roof replacements, storm clean up and repairs, roof inspections, and basic maintenance and repair work. No job is too big or too small for the Stay Dry Roofing team!

roof repairs

Whether you have a commercial or residential property we can take care of you and roofing system. Call now for a consultation appointment or an on-site evaluation and estimate. You don’t have to go at it alone. Call the roofing experts of Indianapolis that residents and businesses owners have trusted for years- see the difference for yourself!

roof perpetration

Fall Roof Preparations For Roofing System

As the hot summer days begin to cool off at long last, the kids are now beginning a new school year, and we are seeing signs that the cooler wetter weather is on the way. Fall is a special time of year and it is a favorite time of year for many residents in the Indianapolis area. Between now and the first freeze of winter, there are four things you can do to prepare your roof for bad weather. It is often overlooked until the truly chilly weather hits and we know winter is not far behind, but it is important to deal with fall roof preparations now so you are ready for whatever winter throws your way.

roofing care tipsClean Our Your Gutters

You should be doing this on a regular basis anyway to ensure they can do their job and keep water drained. However, as the leaves begin to fall it is important to clean the gutters out often, especially if you have a lot of trees around. When leaves and debris collect in your gutter system, eventually, it will create a clog in the downspouts. When this occurs, the water cannot drain away fast enough and can get backed up and pool on your roof. The added weight of the wet leaves and water could also pull your gutters loose and damage your eves and roofing shingles.  Standing water is also more likely to seep into the shingle sand leak into your attic and into your home. To prevent these problems and unforeseen repair costs, keep your gutters clean and inspect them at least once a month while the leaves are still falling.

Clear Off Debris

It is also very important to remove leaves, pine needles, branches, moss and any other debris that has collected on your roof. Even small bits of debris will hold moisture and possibly rot or mold, which will break down your roofing material. Additionally, the added weight can weaken your supports and damage interior opponents of your roofing system. Make sure they are free and clear of debris so as to allow water to flow. If you are confident in your ability to do so you can clear off the debris yourself but it is highly advisable to call in roofing professionals to clean your roof for you. This is an important part of the fall roof preparations that you need to take time for now before the cold weather truly sets in. You should do this several times during the fall to keep your roof clean and free of debris and trash.

Roofing damageCheck for Signs of Damage

Once your roof is clean of all leaf litter and debris, you should be able to easily scan the surface for missing shingles or tiles that are cracked and broken, or other signs of wear and tear damage. You can use binoculars if you need to do your inspection from the ground or if you are able to do so safely, you can climb up to the roof to have a look. Be sure to look at any flashing around vent stacks, chimneys, and skylights to make sure they are in good shape too. These areas are common problem areas that can lead to leaks when the flashing cracks and warps away from the roofing. Even seemingly small damage can quickly lead to major issues if left unaddressed. Even the best DIY individuals often find it is easier to call in roofing experts to help with fall roof preparations and repairs to the shingles and flashing during this time of year.

Check Insulation and Ventilation

The final part of fall roof preparations you need to check off your to-do list this season is to get into the attic and check the ventilation and insulation there. Without adequate airflow in your attic, temperatures can fluctuate greatly in the colder seasons, causing you to use more energy to keep your home comfortable. During the day, sunlight hits your roof and heats up the air in your attic which warms up the house but can also cause condensation to occur when the attic gets a lot warmer than the cooler outside air temperatures. This can lead to water and moisture and rot, mildew, and even water stains can occur if the condensation gets bad enough. And if your ventilation system is not functioning as it should all the hot air has nowhere else to go, it will seep into your home and make things too hot and stuffy.

Fall Roof PreparationsContact Stay Dry Roofing

To learn more about fall roof preparations give us a call today and let our team of experts take care of your roofing system for you. We are here to help you and are ready to assist with any inspection, repair, or maintenance work you may need ahead of the winter weather. So, call today to schedule an appointment or to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members.

 

New residential roofing services

Important Roof Maintenance Tips for Fall

If you have been a homeowner for any length of time, then you know how important the roof is. It is what protects your home, your family, and your possessions from most of the elements and keeps everyone and everything safe. There is a lot that goes into proper roof maintenance and there are many things you have to think about and do to keep your roof in tip-top shape. It can be hard to know what to do and when to do it. That is why Stay Dry Roofing is proud to serve the area and meet all of your local roofing needs.  We are especially busy this time of year as fall is when the bulk of roof work is done in the area and it is when we get asked about roof maintenance tips for the fall.

Fall Roof Maintenance Tips You Need to Know 

Roofing repairsFall is an important time for roof maintenance because it is conveniently placed between the two times of year that tend to do the most damage- spring and winter. Spring rains and storms can damage roofing systems and winter snows and ice can as wreak havoc on your roof.  Fall is the time to look for damage and prepare for the damaging weather ahead. If your roof is damaged and in need of repair, now is the time to get it taken care of. roof maintenance tips for fall are a big deal and that is why the Stay Dry Roofing team wanted to give you the five best tips to make the most of your fall season roof work:

Trim Back Your Trees and Removed Damaged Ones

roof damage repair

As the leaves start falling from the trees around your home, it will be obvious if there are branches that are too close to your home. Branches that are at risk from ribbing against your siding or roof shingles or large branches hanging over your roof that looks a little weak or damages can be a sure way to have problems down the road. It is important to trim those back now so they do not danger your roofing later. When winter comes, snow and ice can weight down branches and cause them to bend or fall into your home. Removing these branches now will reduce your risks for damage later on. Additionally, making the most of the roof maintenance tips for fall and cutting back branches now, can minimize the leaves that clog gutters and roof valleys. Calling the roofing experts at Stay Dry Roofing can make this fall maintenance chore cinch!

Take Time to Inspect and Clean Out Your Gutters

gutter maintenanceClean gutters are important, not just for aesthetic reasons but because they can affect the structural integrity of your roofing system as well. Clean and properly maintained gutters are needed to keep water flowing properly off your roofline so rainwater does not pool on the roof and seep into the home. Clogged gutters will keep the roofing materials wet for longer periods of time which will eventually lead to cracking, mold, and other damage later on. One of the best roof maintenance tips for fall season is to give your gutters some love and attention. Clean out your gutters before the leaves of fall start to clog things up and make a mess and be sure to check on them regularly to ensure they continue to do their job. Stay Dry Roofing can help you with roof and gutter maintenance and repairs this fall so give us a call.

Install Gutter Guards if They Are Needed for Your Roof

gutter-installationGutter guards are an important part of your roofing and gutter system, yet they are something many homeowners do not have or do not even know about. They are extremely affordable, fairly easy to install and maintain, and they will greatly reduce gutter clogging. This, in turn, reduces the time you have to spend on gutter maintenance and cleaning and reduces the chances of damage occurring. These simple caps go over your guttering to prevent leaves from falling inside. It is like putting a roof over a canal to keep things from getting inside. Water is still able to get through thanks to small holes in the caps, but leaves, twigs, and bigger debris cannot get into the trough of the gutter and keeps it clutter free. If you have questions about getting gutter guards installed for your home contact the Stay Dry team today and let us lend a helping hand.

Get A Professional Pre-Winter Roof Inspection Done

roof inspectionsExpert roofing inspectors have an eye for damage and problems that may go unnoticed by the average homeowner. This is why it’s always a good idea to have someone look at your roof during the fall season. Getting a professional roof inspection done before winter sets in is one of the important roof maintenance tips for fall that cannot be ignored. It is an important part of roof maintenance because it will alert you to potential problems early on so you can fix problems you may be having right away. It is much easier to repair a roof before the snow and ice start to fall; it is much safer to do roof maintenance and repairs this time of year as well. If you wait too long, you will have a much bigger problem on your hands. Call Stay Dry today to find out about our fall roof inspection services and get any repair work done sooner rather than later.

Invest In Roof Repairs As Needed

roof replacementIf you find out that there has been damage done throughout the year and you learn that you need repair work on a certain part of your roof, it is not something you can afford to ignore and put off. It is of the utmost important you make sure you take care of any repairs and maintenance work now rather than later. Small problems in the fall can turn into huge problems in the winter, and damage done over the winter can lead to even more extensive and expensive repairs in the following spring. Taking the time and energy to stay on top of maintenance work and investing a little money into small repairs now will save you in the long run and will help preserve the integrity of your roofing system. Stay Dry Roofing has helped many homeowners with the best in roof maintenance tips for fall and we can do the same for you as well!

Contact Stay Dry Roofing  Roof Maintenance Tips 

To learn more about these and other great roof maintenance tips for fall call us at Stay Dry Roofing today. We offer a range of inspection, repair, maintenance, and installation services so you are sure to find what you need right here. Call today for a free consultation and project quote and let us help you prepare your roofing system for the coming winter weather!