One of the biggest problems that Toronto homeowners are facing is the dangerous build-up of snow and ice on the roof. Your roof without professional roof snow removal could leak from an ice dam or worse which may lead to a significant damage to your roof or even to the interior of your home in the event of a collapsed roof. If you wait a long time to remove the snow from your roof, it can turn to ice and of course the cost to remove it will at least triple in price compared to snow removal.
What are ice dams?
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that prevents melting snow from draining off the roof and often forms at the edge of a roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into the home and cause damage to ceilings, insulation, walls, lighting and other areas.
Dealing with ice dams and leaks:
Immediate action: you should remove the snow from the roof, this eliminates one of the ingredients necessary for the formation of an ice dam. A push broom and a “roof rake” can be used to remove snow but also may damage the roofing materials.
What causes ice dams?
There is a complex interaction among the amount of heat loss from a house, outside temperatures and snow cover that leads to ice dam formation. There must be snow on the roof for ice dams to form there and at the same time, higher portions of the roofs outside surface must be above 0°C while other portions of the roof surfaces are below 0°C.
The snow on a roof surface that is above 0°C will melt and as water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 0°C and freezes causing an ice dam. The water above backs up behind the ice dam and remains a liquid then this water finds openings and cracks in the exterior roof covering and flows into the attic space. And from the attic it could flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the ceiling finish.
What causes different roof surface temperatures?
Most dams form at the edge of the roof and there is a heat source warning the roof elsewhere, this heat is coming from within the house although solar heat gain may also be a cause. Can cause both an ice dam and icicles the high heat loss on a roof.
Ice dam prevention
Ice dams can be prevented by increasing the ceiling or roof insulation, by having proper attic ventilation, you need to make sure if your roof and soffit vents are adequate. Seal attic air leaks, because air leaks are passageways for warmed air to enter into the attic space.
Which are the most common sources of air leaks?
– Gaps in drywall
– Where plumbing vents enter into the attic
– The space around masonry chimneys
– The space around the furnace and/or water heater vents