Best Roofing Now

Winter Weather Ice Dams

A common, but not often discussed winter weather problem for homeowners is ice damming.  When the temperatures drop, ice dams can form on the roof of a home.  Prevention is the best medicine for ice dams, so knowing what they are and how they form is invaluable for avoiding water damage to your home. 

snow on roof

What is an Ice Dam?

An ice dam is exactly what its name suggests: a ridge of ice at the edge of the roof that prevents the runoff of melted snow creating a backup of water behind it.  There are variety of factors that lead to the formation of ice dams including external air temperatures, snow covering the roof, and heat loss from inside the home.  Ultimately, ice dams form due to varied surface temperatures across the span of a roof.  The upper portion of the roof must remain above 32 degrees while the lower portion and the outside air temperature must be below 32 degrees.  This combination of temperatures will cause snow from the upper portion of the roof to melt, trickle down the roof, and freeze.  The freezing water will slowly build into the ice dam, eventually preventing water from leaving the roof.         

Ice Dam Prevention

Ice dams are relatively easy to prevent if you’re aware of the risk factors for their formation.  An ice dam can’t form without melting snow, so the first and most effective way to prevent ice damming is to remove snow accumulation from the roof.  There are also steps that can be taken for long-term prevention so you don’t have to risk getting on the roof to remove snow every winter.  First, make sure the ceilings in your home are airtight.  If warm air leaks into your attic space it will heat the upper portions of your roof causing accumulated snow to melt.  For this same reason, increasing the insulation in the ceiling or roof is a helpful change to your home.  Certain other home features such as skylights, heating ducts through the attic, and recessed lights also allow for warm, moist air to accumulate near the roof increasing the risk of ice dam formation.  

Removal and Damage

If an ice dam is identified in time, it’s possible to remove it before it causes damage to the home.  There are several ways an ice dam can be removed.  If you want to tackle it by yourself, calcium chloride filled socks laid vertically across the dam will gradually melt the channels into it allowing the water behind to flow off the roof.  Two less do-it-yourself friendly methods of removal are removing it by force, usually with a mallet, and steaming channels into the dam then chipping away the remainder of the ice.   

Unfortunately, dams often go unnoticed until damage inside the home is identified.  Ice dams can cause damage to both the interior and exterior of the home.  The presence of the ice itself will damage siding, gutters, and roofing.  Water intrusion from the buildup of water behind the dam can cause extensive interior water damage.  As the water builds up on the roof with nowhere to go, it will eventually leak into the home damaging any materials it contacts.  The damage is often gradual, meaning the water intrusion can go undetected for a long time.  Undetected water in the home will eventually lead to mold growth in addition to the water damage itself.  Anytime you notice damage from an ice dam, it’s important to seek professional mitigation for the restoration of your property.

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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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