The Art and Science of Construction

What To Expect When Having A Home Replaced After Years Of Ice Dams

Ice dams, those sheets of ice that form on the edge of some roofs in the winter, are known for causing progressive roof damage over time. As such, when you have a roof replaced and you know that the roof has had ice dams on its surface for many years, you can expect the roofers will recommend some extra work and repairs. Here are three key repairs and updates you can expect to need.

Roof Decking Repairs and Replacement

Under the shingle layer of your roof, there is a layer of wood known as roof decking. When your roof develops ice dams, it does not take long for some of the shingles to peel back and allow water to seep underneath them. This may not always be enough water to cause a leak, but it is enough to slowly cause the roof decking to rot over time. If the ice dams go on for long enough, the rot may spread past the immediate area where the ice dams are located. So, when your roofing team arrives and strips off your roof shingles, don't be surprised if they find some rotten roof decking that needs to be replaced. This is not a terribly extensive job, but it does add to the scope and cost of a regular roof replacement.

Gutter Replacement

Homeowners often forget that gutters are a part of their roof. They may not directly protect your home, but they do so indirectly by letting water drain off the roof properly. When a roof develops ice dams, the ice sometimes accumulates inside the gutters, too. In the process, it can stretch the gutters out. Gutters that are a little stretched or bent can sometimes be bent back into shape, but if your roof has had ice dams on and off for years, the gutters may be so badly damaged that your roofers really need to replace them.

Added Vents and Insulation

Finally, you should expect your roofer to recommend some changes that will make your new roof less likely to form ice dams. First, they may want to add a couple more vents. These allow heat to escape from the attic so it doesn't cause the snow to melt and form ice dams. Second, they may recommend extra roof insulation, which will help keep heat from escaping through the roof directly. 

If ice dams have been an issue on your roof, make sure you tell your roofers. They can make the necessary changes to address existing damage and prevent future damage. To get started, contact a local roofing contractor.