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!

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!

winter roofing experts

Besides Ice Dams, What Other Winter Issues Can Hurt Your Roof?

Winter is a beautiful time of the year but it brings with it a unique set of risk factors when it comes to your roof.  While ice dams are the most commonly reported winter roofing emergency there are other winter roofing issues that can hurt your home.  Here are just a few that we here at Stay Dry Roofing can help you with:

  • snow removal from residential roofing systemsHeavy snow– this can be a big issue by the time the middle of the winter season hits. If snow removal has not been done and a lot of snow has accumulated, or a massive storm dumps a lot of snow, it can quickly build up to a point that it gets too heavy for your roof! While it is fairly rare, roof collapse can happen due to the weight of the snow.
  • Serious fall injuries– when homeowners try to clean snow or do work on their roof in cold and icy conditions injury is often the result. Falls from the roof can cause devastating injuries and can even lead to death or permanent disability! This is one of the big winter roofing issues many homeowners ignore-with terrible consequences!
  • Cracked broken shingles – snow, ice, hail, and the wind takes a major toll on roofing systems, particularly on older roofs or roofs that have already been damaged. Roofs that are walked-on when cold are more prone to cracking and breaking due to the way the bitter cold affects shingles and roofing materials. Whenever possible, avoid walking on the roof when it is brutally cold outside.
  • snow and ice accumulation on the roofSkylight, window, and chimney leaks– when you get snow and ice accumulation, as the weather warms that snow and ice will start to melt. Water running down the roof can lead to leaks, especially when the roof has been damaged by that snow and ice all season long. Areas with gaps in the roofing or that have flashing and caulking are prone to these leaks- skylights, chimneys, air vents, and other similar areas. It is important to be on the lookout for these winter roofing issues!

Winter roofing issues come in all shapes and sizes, so if you need help this season, call the experts here at Stay Dry Roofing today!

Tips For Protecting Your Roof

Tips for Protecting Your Roof, by Stay Dry Roofing

proper roof care practicesGetting a roof to last may seem like a daunting task. It is something many homeowners worry about, but in reality, it is easy. All it takes is proper care and remembering that an ounce of prevention is indeed worth more than a pound of roof repair when it comes to protecting your roof. Read More

ice dam roof damage

Dealing With Ice Dams

Dealing with Ice Dams Immediately is Important!

ice dam roof damageWhen it comes to taking care of their homes, there are many concerns home owners face in the winter. For roofing issues, the biggest challenge is dealing with the formation of ice dams. Stay Dry Roofing in Indianapolis looks at what they do and how dealing with ice dams in a timely manner can save you from serious gutter or roof repair, or even premature roof replacement. Read More

winter trouble for roofs

Snow on the Roof: What You Should Know

Snow on the Roof: Risks to be Aware Of

winter trouble for roofsSnow on the roof is a common sight in the winter. Many charming photos make it look so pretty, yet it is a serious risk faced by homeowners and business owners alike. During a big winter snow storm, people are asked to take shelter and take steps to protect themselves and their homes. But how can you trust your safety inside should your roof not be able to hold all the added weight of the snow and ice that forms during a big storm or heavy snow fall? If not addressed in time, heavy snow on the roof can result in the need for major roof repair or roof replacement at best or roof collapse at worst.

We here at Stay Dry Roofing in Indianapolis want to pass on valuable information to our customers while we’re in the deepest part of winter storm season. We can help you avoid major winter trouble for roofs, and keep you and your family safe and warm this winter season!

The Main Risks of Too Much Snow on the Roof

Too Much Weight.

Signs that your house be at risk from bearing the weight too much snow on the roof are:

  • Visible sagging in the roof that can be seen from inside the home, or in the attic, as well as being seen from outside on the ground.
  • Noises coming from the roof, like creaks or pops that are often continuous and are not associated with winds or other factors.
  • Leaks in ceilings can be signals of cracking and damage to the shingles, supports, beams, and overall structure due to excessive amounts of snow on the roof.
  • Ice and snow begins to slide off in large sheets and fall to the ground during the slight thawing that occurs during the season: an example of just one winter trouble for roofs.

Inattention to Proper Maintenance.

While flat or low-pitched roofing is at more risk, pitched roofs are also vulnerable. Roof failure from heavy snow and ice is one of the main sources of winter trouble for roofs. Preventative seasonal care during warmer months goes a long way in avoiding big problems after strong winter storms. It is important to stay on top of scheduled maintenance and necessary repairs during the warmer months, because it is much harder and much more risky to do repair work during snowy and icy conditions.

There always seems to be something around that can potentially damage your roof but this is particularly true of the winter months. You have put a lot of time, money, and energy into making your home to make it the best that it can be, so you need to take care of it from top to bottom, especially during inclement weather that can damage it. Proper preparation is important to make sure your roof is ready for what winter can throw at it.

There are many dangers associated with excessive accumulation of snow on the roof, which can also promote too much ice buildup. Putting off vital maintenance can put you at risk for roof collapse, damaged shingles or tiles, the formation of ice dams, torn flashing or gutters, water leaks, cracks and holes in the roofing, and other issues that can weaken or damage your roof. All it takes is a small issue and it can quickly grow out of hand, especially with the natural cycle of small thaws and refreezes that happen during the winter.

These reasons are why it’s important to do proper up-keep on your roof during the warmer months. The roof will be far better prepared to deal with the brutality of winter, especially during more severe storms.

Best Options for Keeping Snow on the Roof at a Minimum

Stay Dry Roofing provides professional snow removal services to ensure that your roof won’t have any issues with ice dams, leaks, or too much weight. Snow on the roof may look pretty in the pictures, but those of us who live in it know the dangers it can pose. That’s why our team of roofing experts goes to work to help you avoid the common winter troubles for roofs during the winter season.

We can help ensure everything is taken care of before the snows come, so your roof and your home in general are properly prepared to handle winter’s icy touch.

Roof Repair and Maintenance

Stay Dry Roofing is locally owned and operated, so we know what it takes to care for Indianapolis area roofs. Contact Us at (317) 308-7773 today to get a FREE QUOTE ON SNOW REMOVAL throughout our service area. We can help you with your plans for making sure your roof is ready for winter snow this season with proper winter preparation.

Make sure that snow on the roof is not something you are unprepared for. Let Stay Dry Roofing be your go-to team this winter, and we will help you deal with those pesky issues like snow and ice accumulation. You can stop worrying about that winter trouble for roofs and focus on having fun this season with your family and friends. Call us today to see how we can help you out and how we can help you deal with snow on the roof! You will be glad you did!

Quick fixes But One Cure for Ice Dams In Indy

ice-damThere are many concerns home owners face in the winter months when it comes to taking care of their homes. For roofing issues the biggest challenge is dealing with the formation of ice dams. An ice dam is a hump of ice  that accumulates on the roof along he edge of the eaves when certain winter time conditions are met. An ice dam can damage both your roof and the inside of your home and ice dam roof damage is among the most commonly reported insurance claims for homeowners in the winter. Ice dams can tear and gouge shingles and tiles and the accumulating ice and melting water can seep into the home and cause damage; they can also weaken the roof due to excessive weight from the ice and water. There are several things homeowners can do to help them avoid getting an ice dam or at the very least to reduce the risk of damage when one has already formed on the roof, but there’s really only one cure and effective way of dealing with ice dams: the use of better sealing, insulation, and venting for  both the attic and roof area. Stay Dry Roofing has all the solutions you need to stay on top of your roofing maintenance during the winter.

Why do ice dams form?

An ice dam can form on the roof during snow falls and periods where there are fluctuating temperatures during the winter. They commonly form when the roof over the attic has been warmed to the point that the under layer of snow on the roof melts. The water trickles under the layer of snow and can seep down through the roof until it reaches the eave of the roof. This area is colder because it is not in contact with the rest of the home as much so the water refreezes in this area. As the water freezes, it forms into a dam of ice that continues to grow and mound as more melted water accumulates. The flatter the pitch of the roof, the easier it is for an ice dam to form and grow because it is easier for the water to accumulate. Dealing with ice dams is one of those things homeowners have to be ready for when they live in areas that get brutally cold winters.

How does an ice dam damage the roof?

When an ice dam is allowed to grow and is not kept in check it can get to the point where it is big enough to cause major problems with the roof. Melted water backs up behind the ice wall and since it has no where to go and the heat of the roof over the home stays warm, the water can then begin to seep underneath the shingles. Eventually, this water will drip into the roof structure and can lead to rot and mildew, it can drip into the insulation and cause problems in the ceiling and walls. If the ice gets too heavy the roof can collapse. And if chunks break off the roof they can fall and damage gutters, landscaping, cars, or hurt pets and people.  Dealing with ice dams is a big obstacle for many home owners and preventing ice dam roof damage is the best way to cope during the cold weather.

Dealing with an ice dam that has formed

  1. Get rid of the ice dam gradually by breaking it apart into small chucks. Never use an ax or anything sharp or you will cut into the shingles. Instead, tap lightly with a blunt mallet. It is best to call in roofing experts to help with this because the roofs are slippery and you can still easily damage shingles and tiles.
  2. Clear out gutters and downspouts so they are not filling up and adding to the ice accumulation trouble. Again, this is hazardous work involving being on a ladder and and it can be difficult to clean and clear gutters without damaging metal or plastic that has become brittle due to the cold.
  3. Those with roofing expertise and enough experience and melt troughs through the ice dam with specially designed calcium chloride ice melter. Do NOT use rock salt because it can corrode gutters, stain and fade paint, damage tile and the salt water run off can ruin and kill grass and plants. Using a simple tube of cloth, fill it with calcium chloride, tie off the top, and lay it vertically across the ice dam. As it melts through the ice it will melt away part of the ice dam and make it easier to slide chucks off the roof.

At Stay Dry Roofing, we offer affordable practical solutions to repair damage to your roof that has been caused by ice damming and the associated water damage that can occur.

Preventing ice dams

ice-dam-repairThe best way to go about dealing with ice dams is to work to prevent ice dam roof damage in the first place. There are several ways you can do this. You can scrape snow off the roof to keep it from accumulating and growing to the point that an ice dam can begin to form. This will require you to either stand on the ground or on a ladder and brush snow off or to climb onto the roof and push snow down to the ground. Both can be risky so it is best to call in roofing experts to do any snow removal for you this season.

Before the snows begin to fall you can spray your roofing surface with a water proofing spray that helps block melting ice water from seeping in and to also create a slick surface that ice and snow can slide off of easily.


The experts ice dam cure

All of these points discussed so far address the ice dam symptoms, but are not talking to the underlying problem, which is the warm roof that contacts the snow and causes snow melt and ice formation. At Stay Dry Roofing, we are leaders in dealing with a range of winter roof concerns, one of the most common being  ice dams and the associated water damage that can occur. Roofing experts point out that they only known way to cure an ice dam and also to prevent one from forming at all is to:

  1. Seal any and all areas where warm air leaks into the roofing area from the living space below- this warmer air and get into the spaces immediately below the roof sheathing and will cause the melting of snow that leads to ice dam formation.
  2. Insulate the living space. This is important not just to conserve energy and keep the home at a comfortable temperature but it is also important to ensure the roofing area is insulated well enough to prevent conduction and convection of heat into the attic and roofing area.
  3. Vent the space between the insulation and the roof sheathing. This is a important step because it helps to ensure that any heat that does leak through into the attic and roof area is carried away rather than being allowed to build and warm up the roof and cause snow and ice melting.

Contact us

If you need help making sure your roof is ready for winter snow give us a call and discoverer the Stay Dry Roofing difference for yourself! We are proud to serve our community and the surrounding area and we stand by our commitment to quality and excellence.  Prevention is key in keeping ice off your roof and water out of your home! While you can’t prevent the weather from changing and there is no way to keep 100 percent of the snow and ice off your roof, there are things you can do to keep it under control and to stay on top of routine removal to keep it from accumulating. This is why winter preparation work for your roof is such an important maintenance chore that homeowners cannot afford to skimp out on. Dealing with ice dams and the extensive ice dam roof damage that can come with it is a big deal so get the experts to help ypu protect your roof this winter. Call us today to set up your consultation before the first snows begin to fall!