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Bergen County Roofing: Article About Protect A Roof From Ice Dams

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Homeowners in cold climates face unique challenges when it comes to protecting their roofs. Freezing temperatures and standing snow can lead to water leaks and damage if left unchecked. Fortunately, it's possible for a Bergen County roofing professional to inspect your roof and make sure that it is ready for the challenges of winter.

In order to understand how ice dams can create problems, it's important to take a look at how these ice ridges form. Ideally, when there is a significant snowfall, your roof will already be cold. The snow might accumulate on the roof, but unless there is a tremendous load, it's generally not going to be a problem. When warmer weather arrives, the snow will simply begin to melt and water will drain off the roof. However, problems arise when the roof doesn't stay cold. This is usually the result of insufficient insulation in the attic or poor ventilation.

The attic and space under the roof must be kept cold in order to prevent the roof deck from getting warm and prematurely melting the snow that has accumulated on the surface. Warm air from inside the home can find its way into the attic. As this warm air rises, it reaches the roof peak and the underside of the roof gets warm.

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Sufficient insulation for the home's location can certainly help protect the roof, but it is also important to make sure that any openings around light fixtures or vents are properly sealed.

Of course, poor air circulation can also result in a warm roof. Your roofing contractor can install fans in the soffits, eaves or attic to keep the air moving. These fans will draw cold air in from outdoors while moving the warmer air out. This flow of air can help ensure that the underside of your roof stays cool enough to prevent snow from melting unevenly.

When snow along the roof's peak begins to melt before the snow at the edges, water often gets trapped. Unfortunately, when the roof is warmed from the underside, the higher sections are usually the areas that are affected. The areas around the eaves tend to remain cold, so as melting snow works its way towards the edge of the roof, it simply freezes in place, causing an ice dam that blocks drainage. As this problem continues, water can find its way under roofing materials and eventually cause the roof to leak.

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