If you live Denver Colorado, it's likely you've heard the term "ice dam." Most people know they are something you don't want. However, it seems a lot of people's understanding of ice dams stops there.
So what are ice dams, exactly? Can they damage your home? Are they preventable? To help you understand ice dams and ice dam roof damage, we've put together this helpful article.
What Is an Ice Dam?
Ice dams are bulges of ice that form along the edges of a roof in winter. As snow settles on the roof, warm air from inside the home escapes through the attic and partially melts the snow. As the snow warms and melts, water drains towards the eaves and gutters.
The eaves of a roof generally extend past the exterior walls of the home, meaning they don't get any of that escaping warm air. As the melted snow hits the cold eaves, it freezes. Clogged gutters and downspouts exacerbate the problem, as melting water has no place to drain.
As winter progresses, the ice accumulating on the eaves builds up, creating large bulges along the edge of the roof. As the ice builds up, it eventually gets large and deep enough to trap water behind it -- hence the name "ice dam."
Time For Gutter Replacement in Denver CO
Get your mind into the gutter.
No, not cleaning them. Replacing them. Average gutters should last at least 20 years in Colorado, so if you take care of them, this isn't a job you'll have to do often.
You may be wondering how to know when it's time for a gutters replacement.
It's a simple enough question, but it doesn't have a simple answer. Knowing when your gutters need replacing, as opposed to cleaning or repairing, is something that will come with you learning a bit more about gutters.
That's where we come in. Here, we'll look at when to replace gutters, how to replace gutters, and what new gutters you should get when the time comes.
Hold the ladder, we're going up.
How Gutter De-Icing Systems Work
Gutters are one of the most overlooked aspects of the home. Homeowners disregard their presence, perhaps only cleaning them once in the fall and spring, or repairing them when they are damaged.
In areas susceptible to heavy snow and harsh winters, gutters face significant challenges that need to be addressed proactively. Colorado regularly experiences harsh winter weather that can wreak havoc on gutters.
Ice dams easily build in gutters as layers of precipitation freeze on top of one another, blocking water drainage until it melts. Icicles often form underneath gutters, posing a danger for those walking underneath.
When spring arrives, the melting slush on the roof can cause water damage in the upstairs of your house and the gutters themselves may collapse under the ice’s heavy weight.