Everyone seems to have their own ideas and theories about ice dams. With so much misinformation floating around, it’s important to clear the air and settle a few debates. Here are five ice dam myths that every homeowner should know:
1. Gutters Cause Ice Dams
Gutters by themselves do not cause ice dams, but they can compound the problem if you already have an issue forming. Gutters lead the ice melt toward the edges of the roof, and if the gutters are not properly draining because of debris or ice buildup, they can add additional layers to the problem. We here at Ice Dam Liquidators are also roofing and gutter experts that can help show you how to prevent ice dams from forming, but also how gutters can be protected from adding to the issue.
2. The Roof Must Be Heated Several Feet above the Eave Edge
Here’s what happens when ice dams are left to grow:
- Meltwater exits the snow at the drip edge.
- The water starts building up to the wall line, and creates a standing water condition.
- The interior leaks.
The common belief is that the roof must be heated several feet above the eave edge to prevent ice dams, but this won’t solve the problem by itself. The best way to stop the ice dam from forming at the eave, and that will prevent the dam from forming and taking up the entire roof.
3. Metal Edging Prevents Ice Dams
Many homeowners have metal edging installed along roof eaves as a way to prevent ice dams, but more often than not, this edging causes other property damage and leaks.
Here’s the issue:
- Ice dams break and fall off the roof.
- A new ice dam forms at or above the wall line.
Leaks can become an issue when this occurs, and it also damages the transition between composite shingles and the metal edging. Ultimately, metal edging can do more harm than good and will not necessarily prevent damaging ice dams from forming.
4. Shoveling Snow from the Roof’s Eave Edges Eliminates Ice Dams
Unfortunately, all shoveling will do is put your roof – and you – in danger. Not only is there the danger of falling, but there’s also a danger of damaging your roof and/or eaves in the process.
Shoveling is just a temporary fix. Unless it’s an emergency situation where structural damage is a very real possibility, it is not practical to shovel your roof. Use it as a last-ditch effort. Otherwise, you might find yourself doing it all over again the next storm.
6. Zig Zag Heat Tape Prevents Ice Dams
At best, zig zag heat tapes create a tiny pathway for the water to pass through. Heat tape is easily overwhelmed by large amounts of snow, and is really only useful in areas that receive minimal snowfall each year.
Zig zag heat tapes are often installed improperly, leaving parts of the roof exposed and vulnerable to ice damage. They also tend to collect pine needles and other debris that can create a fire hazard.
Remove Ice Dams the Right Way
If you are tired of dealing with ice dams every winter and want the best solution for lifelong ice dam prevention, Ice Dam Liquidators today! Our experts and prevention techniques will protect your home and will eliminate the headache caused by ice buildup on your roof. To speak to a specialist, call (612) 251-6938.