Shoveling snow off your roof can prevent destructive ice damming

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 5:55 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Spring in Fairbanks is quickly approaching as the sun stays up longer each day and the temperatures continue to climb, but the warming weather can spell trouble for un-shoveled roofs as melting ice can create ice damming and damage the roof.

Mat Croan is the Branch Manager at Taylored Restoration in Fairbanks and says that each year, ice damming causes significant damage to buildings in Fairbanks.

Ice damming is caused when the bottom layer of snow on a roof melts and runs down the roof. Then, after dark when temperatures drop, the ice freezes causing a dam. The water has no where to go and starts to flow back up the roof. Croan says this can cause extensive damage to a house.

“It can do some crazy damage without you even knowing it. So the insulation that is in the attic can get soaking wet which in turn is going to get the drywall wet. Or it’s going to travel into your walls which can create problems with the electrical system,” Croan said. Once it is in the walls it can also create mold which can be hard to address.

Croan says the best way people can prevent ice damming is to shovel the roof in the springtime. He said that they can do it themselves or hire a licensed professional to shovel the roof. He also warned against trying to remove any ice that has built up, as that can also damage the roof. Instead he said to wait for spring and hope for the best.

If damage from ice damming does occur, he suggests calling a contractor to come fix it.

He also said that once summer comes people can check their attics to make sure any ducting is properly insulated which can help prevent heat from escaping the roof and creating the ice.

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