Most of the United States experiences cold and snowy winter months and many homeowners encounter trouble with ice forming on their roofs during the coldest part of winter. If you have experienced this with your home, then you know it can lead to expensive roof repairs and water damage to the inside of your home while also posing the hazard of falling snow and ice on people below. There are a few things you can do to protect your home during winter, but the most important thing is to make sure your roof has an ice guard.
When an ice dam forms on a roof, it will typically develop near the eaves, close to the gutters. The ice melting causes water to trickle toward the gutter, refreezing beneath the eaves’ shingles. Once water starts working under shingles, the repeated cycle of freezing, melting, and refreezing will cause rapid expansion and contraction that damages the roof. It’s vital to do everything you can to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof, and one of the best available options is to install an ice guard.
What Is Ice Guard?
As the name suggests, an ice guard is a roof fixture that can help prevent the formation of ice dams. This waterproof underlayment attaches to the roof decking and seals all the nails. When these nails are exposed, water can creep beneath shingles and drip down through the small gaps from the nail holes and into the interior below. Ice guard covers these nail holes to ensure that any water that enters below the shingles will have nowhere to travel but down the roof’s slope and into the gutter as it should.
It’s also a good idea to install an ice guard below a roof’s valleys where multiple planes intersect. These are the roof parts where water will travel down toward the gutter and are therefore more prone to ice formation. If you choose to install an ice guard for your home, your roofer can also install it around your chimney, roof flashings, and other protrusions to protect the areas of your roof most vulnerable to ice and water infiltration.
Ventilation and Ice Dams
If you wonder whether your roof needs an ice guard, it’s worth inspecting your roof’s current ventilation system. In most cases, ice dams form on roofs because the lower parts of the roof’s slopes are cooler than the upper parts near the roof’s peak. The ventilation system of most homes will push warm air upward through the attic and roof space. If the roof doesn’t have a good ventilation structure, the warm air will linger toward the roof’s peak, warming it from underneath and leaving the roof cooler’s lower region.
A home with good roof ventilation may never experience ice dams but installing water and ice guards can still provide additional moisture protection during all types of precipitation and give you some peace of mind. Mr. Roof can conduct a thorough inspection to determine the best way to protect against ice and water damage. If you need an ice guard for your home, we can handle the installation and help you make informed choices about your roofing services. Contact Mr. Roof today for more information about the ice guard for your home.