Colorado is an ideal climate for ice dams to form, with plenty of snow and a freeze-thaw cycle of sunny days and frigid nights. Ice dams occur when the outside temperature is below freezing, the roof top temperature is above freezing, and there is snow on the roof. Under these conditions the snow on top of the roof deck will melt, the water runs down to the edge of the roof where it refreezes. This causes a “dam” of ice and a backup of water. Ice dams cause damage when the water backs up from the dam and works its way under the roofing material into the roof sheeting and building walls.
Ice dam prevention starts with roof. The roof should have adequate pitch with minimal valleys to prevent heavy snow build-up. Roof materials such as metal can shed snow and preventing water damage. Venting is also important. Cold Roof Venting allows a constant flow of cold air above the insulation but below the roofing material. Allowing cold air to circulate prevents snow on the roof from melting when the outside temperature is 22* F or colder. When it is warmer than 22*F outside; melted water that is on the roof usually will not refreeze on the cold eaves.
Snow Removal & Maintenance
When heavy snow builds up, a snow rake can be used to remove buildup around the edge of the roof before it turns to ice. Ice melt systems can also be effective in some situations.
Have concerns about ice build-up and ice dams? Call The Roofing Company. We have been designing and building roofs for the Colorado mountain environment for decades. We can help keep you home free of ice dams and other hazards.