Before dipping into the depths of this particular Charlotte roofing tip, Zimmerman Enterprises Kanga Roofing of Charlotte would like you to consider a strange phenomenon concerning ice dams: Water doesn’t always flow down hill. At times it backs up, accumulates and only then submits to the power of nature and gravity. The result may be a slow trickle that can be addressed and managed before major structural damage can accumulate. Or…
The submission to gravity may force your roof leak to explode with devastating and costly consequences to your home and to your health.
Ice dams can make water flow uphill. So too can clogged drains, gutters and downspouts. Back in 2006 while reconstructing the old Charlotte IRS building, a local Metrolina construction company encountered a major leak issue (1). It came about shortly after a summer downpour dumped inches of water throughout Mecklenburg. Within the hour, stories of flash floods, structural damage and leaky roofs dominated the news.
Next morning in the old IRS building on Albemarle Road, water leaks had sprung up all across the southeastern wing of the structure. Rather than mere drips, the leaks were like minor springs of continuous water flow. Ceilings, walls and carpets got damp, then soggy and then ruined. Repair costs mounted quickly as did material requirements.
When work crews reached the roof of the building, they discovered knee-deep water in all the lower sides of the flat roof building. Three roof drains were completely stopped up. The water pressure had backed up, amassed pressure and then forcibly found new ways for obeying the law of gravity.
Having a sturdy roof is essential to home protection from the weather and from the elements. To maintain the stability of your roof unhampered water drainage is an absolute necessity. You need to know how and when to check your roof. Regular roof inspections ensure that rainfall, sleet and ice do not backup, build up and eventually explode beneath the overwhelming law of gravity.
Ice Dams and Charlotte Roofing Tips For Reliable Prevention
Although often used in office and industrial construction planning, flat roofs are not standard on residential Charlotte homes. Most of you live in “A” frame structures. You have asphalt shingled or metal roofs – sometimes tile or wood shakes. Thus ice dams can be a common problem.
According to the University of Minnesota, the ridge of ice that accumulates at the edge of your roof is called an ice dam (2). Every article with a focus on Charlotte roofing tips mentions the roofing dangers associated with backed up water. When an ice dam prevents melting show from draining off your roof, the water temporary flows up hill. As a result of the backup, water eventually begins to seep, leak or explode into your home. The damage to your Charlotte residence can include structural collapse of the roof, ceilings or drywall. The accumulated damage associated with ice dams also includes wet attic insulation, electrical shorts and even exterior wall damage.
Stopping water leaks is critical to the stability of your roof and the protection of your Charlotte home. Preventing water from flowing uphill is one component of proper roof management. Don’t risk the dangers of ice dams, water backup and explosive leak damage. Act now to correct known problems in advance of the coming winter snows.
Even when explosive and immediate damage doesn’t occur, rainwater under your shingles results in long-term roof rot. Even when melting snow doesn’t create a technical “ice ridge,” trash in your gutter can result in blockage, refreezing and water backup. High winds sometimes lift shingles. Debris gets forced underneath. When the rain falls the wind forces the water into the gaps.
Preventing the Ice Dams and Ice Dam Damage
To prevent roof damage due to ice dams, follow two courses of action: 1) Immediate response to the situation and 2) Long-term solutions.
Immediate ice dam prevention demands that you get the snow and ice off your roof. In order to prevent shingle damage, use a push broom or a roof rake. But be very careful, for your own safety and for the safety of your existing roofing materials. If water is already flowing into your home, break channels in the ice dam. It’s a touchy job. Consider hiring a professional Charlotte roofing contractor.
Long-term ice dam solutions require special considerations. Start by eliminating any interior leaks of warm air into the attic. Moist interior heat on the inside of your roof structure promotes melting and refreezing of snow and ice. Have your attic inspected by a professional Charlotte roofer. Adding ceiling/roof insulation may eliminate all of your leakage problems related to ice dams. Don’t forget to repair the existing roof damage.
Zimmerman Enterprises is always on hand to provide you with free estimates on any full-home roof replacements or roof installations.