If you've noticed that large ice formations, known as ice dams, tend to form at the edge of your roof during the winter, there are several approaches you can take to address this issue. One approach is to address the underlying cause of the ice dams by improving your roof's insulation and ventilation. Another approach is to simply prevent the ice dams by raking the snow off the roof before it has time to melt. While snow raking is the approach many homeowners take, there are both pros and cons to this approach.
Pros: Snow raking is inexpensive.
A snow rake is a simple tool that you can purchase at a home improvement store. It looks like a regular garden rake with a long handle. Snow rakes range in price based on the durability and comfort of the model you choose. However, they are almost certainly cheaper than paying to have more insulation and ventilation added to your room.
Pros: You can snow rake immediately, rather than waiting until the weather clears up.
If you choose to handle your ice dams by improving your roof, you'll likely have to wait until the weather is nicer (and there's no snow on the roof) to do so. On the other hand, if you're starting to notice ice dams building up, snow raking is an action you can take immediately to make sure they don't get any larger.
Con: If you get busy and forget to rake, you'll end with ice dams, anyways.
All it takes is a few busy evenings or a couple of mornings waking up late, and before you know it, your habit of snow raking has been broken. If you forget to rake the snow off the roof, it will melt, trickle down, and contribute to the ice dams that are beginning to erode your shingles and gutters.
Con: You can't always reach every portion of the roof with a snow rake.
When you solve your ice dam problem by adding insulation or ventilation, you typically make the whole roof cooler, curing and preventing ice dams on all of your roof's edges. On the other hand, there may be sections you cannot reach with the snow rake, so ice dams may still form near some of these sections.
While snow raking presents an inexpensive and immediate fix when an ice dam is forming, in the long-term, you're probably best off addressing the problem at its source with better insulation and ventilation. Doing so will allow you to avoid the damage of ice dams without having to spend hours working in the snow each week.
To learn more, contact a residential roofing company like All American Roofing Incorporated.
Do you know how to tell if you have problems with your flashing, loose shingles, or damaged tar pitch? Well, I didn't either until I experienced some of those issues on my own. One day, I realized that my roof was leaking and that I needed to find a solution fast. After contacting a professional roofing company, they were able to solve my troubles and teach me the signs of trouble. I want you to avoid the same types of hassles, which is why my blog is filled to the brim with information about roofing and home ownership. You never know, these tips could really come in handy!