Best Roofing Now

How Ice Dams Can Impact Your Roof and Home

A beautiful snowfall and glistening icicles may seem like a picture-perfect landscape during the cold winter months, but the melting snow and the formation of icicles might point to a bigger issue going on with your roof.

Ice Dam

Ice dams are a formation caused by ice buildup on the overhangs of your roof. When your attic gives off heat to your roof, it melts the snow and ice causing it to slide down the incline until it hits unheated or uninsulated portions (typically the overhang areas). The snow and ice then refreeze in that area, causing a buildup that can cause damage. Ice dams can cause extensive damage to your shingles, gutters, and even the paint on the trim of your home.

When an ice dam forms on your roof, water can seep under your top layer of shingles and cause damage to them or to the roof structure underneath. Cracking, warping, and complete detachment can all happen to your shingles. When that damage occurs (big or small) water can then penetrate through your roof and start leaking into your attic space.

Check your attic frequently in the winter for signs of a leak. Another tell-tale sign of ice dam damage is warping of the structural beams or ceiling in your attic. Contact a professional roofer right away if you see signs of this level of damage.

Ice dams can also block water from draining properly into your gutters so it can be directed away from your home. As the water in the ice dam freezes and thaws, expansion takes place which may bend or break your gutters. This can lead to further damage if water can not be drained away from your home.

If there is an issue with your gutters, you may be able to tell if water is pooling on the group under a certain spot along your gutters, if water seems to be spilling over the side of your gutters, or if there is an unusual amount of water getting into your basement due to the water not draining away from the house. Use caution when getting up on a ladder to examine your gutters, especially in winter. Always call a professional if you ever feel uncomfortable or unstable on a ladder.

In a home, some of the smallest details can make the biggest difference in curb appeal. Trim paint and other decorative accents along your roofline can give your home a beautiful look and feel. Unfortunately, ice dams can damage the paint on your trim or on the side of your home. Stagnant water or ice along your roofline can cause paint to peel or chip, leaving a bubbled effect.

Reaching those areas to repair or paint may be difficult come spring or summertime. Use caution when on ladders. High quality paint may be able to provide your home with a more protected finish and require less touch up year over year.

Many older homes are at risk of developing ice dams, but there are multiple different ways to prevent them from causing damage to your home. The best way to fix ice dams is at the source.

If you can keep the heat inside of your home rather than have it warm up your roof, ice dams have less of an opportunity to form. To do this, make sure all your vents in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry, or other work spaces vent directly outside rather than through a soffit. You can also ensure that the roof is properly insulated so no heat can escape out the front. Finally, make sure your attic is sealed off from other areas of the home to prevent warm air from traveling up there. Heat always rises, so making a tight seal is crucial to making sure it doesn’t move to the areas you are trying to avoid heating.

There are also many “quick” fixes that you can use to get your family through the winter. Warming coils can be placed in a zig zag pattern at your roof’s edge to encourage more melting of the snow and ice that forms. You can also purchase a roof rake which can help you move the snow off your roof and eliminate the possibility of ice dams forming in the first place.

Before the professionals need to be called in, consider ways that you can make sure ice dams don’t impact the safety and integrity of your home this winter. Learning about the formation of ice dams and what you can do in your home to prevent them is a great place to start before winter comes. Other quick fix tactics can also help you get through the winter safely.

If you think your home has been damaged by ice dams, contact us today to hear about the options we provide to protect and repair your roof.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! We can arrange for tree removal prior to roof tarping. We’ll coordinate the entire project for you.

It is always your deductible plus upgrades if any.

Not many can. A membrane or metal commercial roof system generally requires a different set of equipment, specialized materials, and expertise. From asphalt emulsion-based systems to built-up and mod-bit systems to galvanized steel, commercial roofs require a different skill set than that of a roofer more used to dealing with residences. Best Roofing Now is the company to choose in North Carolina’s Piedmont Region when you want to “go local” and choose the best commercial roofing company at the same time.

While there could be some initial cost-saving in laying new shingles over an old, aged roof, we generally don’t recommend re-roofing. Old shingles also mean an old roof deck. By tearing off the old shingles, our licensed roofing contractor will then be able to spot any areas of instability or damage to the roof deck that may have been hidden by the shingles. We can replace any sections where there may be wood rot. Roof installation techniques and materials have also changed over the last couple of decades, and your old roof may not be up to code. “Re-roof” jobs may also not carry the same warranties as a full replacement.

Generally, we’ll wait for a break in the rain before climbing onto a roof when the rain is still sheeting due to the safety risk. One of the best benefits to choosing Best Roofing Now is that we live right here in Charlotte, so we’ll be watching the weather along with you. Just give us a call, and together we’ll determine the best time to tarp your roof.

Absolutely not, but you should. Temporary roof tarping is generally covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy, but choosing multiple contractors for the same claim may delay the process. Insurance companies refer their clients to us all the time, though, because they trust us to get the job done right at a reasonable price. We can be on our way to tarp your roof, and we’ll come back and meet with your insurance adjuster to discuss our recommendations for the repairs. One-stop-shopping!

There are two primary ways that homeowners benefit from owning a battery:

First, you can use the battery for backup power. If the grid goes down, you’re still covered. If disaster strikes, if there’s a hurricane in your area, or a fire, or any of the things that we’re all dealing with now, on a much more common basis, having a battery will allow you to continue to have electricity in your home, even if your utility company can’t provide it.

The second reason is that you can often actually save money by getting a battery if you live in a region with specific rate structures where you would benefit from using stored power from the battery during more expensive times of the day. In many regions, the net metering policy allows you to save money without the need for the battery unless you want the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your home can provide electricity even when your utility company can’t. Ask your Best Roofing Now consultant for more information. They’ll be able to give you a detailed proposal of exactly how much a system will cost with a battery if you’re interested in one. We work with all the biggest battery manufacturers and we can absolutely make sure that you get taken care of – whichever way is best for you.

Yes! We have years of experience installing, maintaining, and repairing the membrane roofs and steel roofs most often used for large, flat surfaces. Whether you want to know your options for a full replacement or simply need your roof repaired because you’ve discovered a water leak or other damage, Best Roofing Now can help. We will also help you develop a regular roof maintenance plan to help extend the lifespan of your roof.

Yes! Our experienced, licensed roofers will inspect your roof up close to assess the scope of any obvious damage and also map out the probable unseen damage just below the surface. With that knowledge at hand, we will let you know if roof repair is the most affordable option or if you’re better off with a full roof replacement.

Not every home is eligible for solar, so cross your fingers. Let’s hope you’re one of the lucky ones, and you can save money. There are three main factors:

Number one is called “sun exposure” – does your roof (or the location of your solar panels) get enough access to the sun? One of the things we’ll do is analyze your sun exposure from satellite images and other technology to make sure that you’ve got what’s called “proper solar access”. There’s a percentage we’re looking for which, as long as you’ve got that, you’re good to go.

Number two is orientation. What direction would your panels be facing? Ideally, we would want the panels facing South or West, since that is where the most sunshine hits. So you’re looking for the right sun exposure, you’re looking for the right orientation.

And then there’s just number three. Are there any structural issues with your house or roof that would make it difficult to mount solar panels? And if it turns out that it doesn’t work for solar, no harm done, you got educated and you know it is what it is. But that’s the reason why I encourage you to reach out and get a no-cost proposal from us so we can actually do the hard work of analyzing your property and show you exactly how much money you can save by going solar.

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