As a Lancaster resident, you may take your roof for granted, but when snow and ice build up on your roof's surface, you become aware of the importance of roof maintenance during the winter months. An ice dam is a nemesis of your roofing, and if you develop an ice dam, contacting a contractor for roof ice removal is the best course of action.
Roofing is designed to hold a certain amount of weight safely, and when the weight on the roof's surface exceeds that maximum load limit, the roof is liable to collapse. Dry snow weighs approximately 7 pounds per cubic foot, but wet snow weighs 12 to 18 pounds per cubic foot and results in elevated stress on your roof that can lead to roof avalanches and building damage.
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that develops at the edge of a roof, and it prohibits melting snow from draining off the roofing. Water collects behind the ice dam and can leak into the house, causing damage to ceilings, insulation, and walls. Ice dams are formed in specific conditions: snow must rest on a roof and high portions of the roofing must be above 32 degrees Fahrenheit while low portions of the roofing is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The snow above will melt, but the snow below will not, resulting in an ice dam.
Removing snow buildup and ice dams yourself to avoid roof ice removal expenses may be enticing, but making a DIY project out of snow and ice removal can be dangerous. You could damage shingles and gutters while creating leaks, fall from ladders and roof edges, overexert your muscles, or get frostbite or hypothermia from the wind and bitter cold.
If ice dams persist for a prolonged period of time, moisture enters the home, resulting in mold and mildew. This biological hazard can cause respiratory complications, so drying out damp areas of the house and removing the ice dams causing the moisture is vital.
As a general rule, try to have your roof cleared after every 6 inches of snowfall so that the snow does not freeze and form ice dams. Protect your roofing in Lancaster by hiring EAW Roofing and Construction Inc to remove the snow and ice accumulation.