Tom Shelp, Peranich & Shelp Construction, Inc.
It is best to discover you have a problem with your roof before the snow flies. Check your roof for signs of wear and deterioration to help prevent leakage and damage to the inside of your home. Look for weak points (at skylights, chimneys and dormers), worn sections in high water areas (valleys, gutters), missing or damaged shingles, blistering, buckling, and dark areas. Inside your house, you should look for signs of leakage in the attic or stains on ceilings and walls. Check your monthly utility bills for any excessive energy costs. Gutters should be kept clean and properly attached to the house to allow water to flow freely.
An ice dam is a build up of ice at the eave that may eventually back up water under the shingles. When snow on the roof melts, the water travels down the roof and freezes when it passes over the unheated eave. As the water continues to flow, it becomes blocked by the newly formed ice dam. This water then freezes and the cycle continues. As more water freezes, it begins to back up water under the shingle tabs. As this continues further up the roof, the warmer attic space may prevent the water from freezing and this water may enter the house. There are two primary causes of ice dams: lack of insulation and/or lack of ventilation. A professional roofer can discuss preventative solutions to upgrade insulation and ventilation in the attic. If ice damming occurs, you can do more damage to the roof if you are not certain as to what you are doing. Snow raking of the eaves may only push back the ice dams into more vulnerable areas (middle of rooms) where there is no other protection for ice buildup. Whether you are interested in information to safeguard this important investment in your home, or considering the purchase of a new roof, visit www.gaf.com / Residential Homeowner / Learn About Roofing for explanations of key danger signals and common roof problems.