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Ice dam on your Roof

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An Ice Dam is a hump of ice that forms at the edge of a roof under certain wintertime conditions. An ice dam can damage both your roof and the inside of your home. It will put gutters and downspouts at risk too. There are several things you can do to avoid getting an ice dam or to reduce the risk of damage after one has formed, but there’s really only one cure: a combination of better sealing, insulation, and venting in the attic and eaves.

HOW DO ICE DAMS FORM?

An ice dam forms when the roof over the attic gets warm enough to melt the underside of the layer of snow on the roof. The water trickles down between the layer of snow and the shingles until it reaches the eave of the roof, which stays cold because it extends beyond the side of the house. There, the water freezes, gradually growing into a mound of ice.

The flatter the pitch of the roof, the easier it is for an ice dam to get a grip. Gutters at the eaves can also trap snow and ice. If snow and ice build up high enough in the gutter, it can provide a foundation for an ice dam.

roof-ice-dam

WHAT DAMAGE DO ICE DAMS CAUSE?

When an ice dam gets big enough, melted water backs up behind it and seeps underneath the shingles. Eventually, it will drip into the insulation and down into the ceilings and exterior walls beneath the eave, ruining sheetrock and paint. If the ice dam breaks free, it can pull shingles and gutters off with it, and it will damage anything it falls on: shrubs, windowsills, cars, pets, and people. If the roof sheathing stays wet, it can form mildew and start to rot.

HOW CAN YOU DEAL WITH AN ICE DAM?

There are two avenues of attack: dealing with an existing ice dam and preventing one in the first place.

DEALING WITH EXISTING ICE DAMS

1. Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small chucks. Do NOT use an ax or other sharp tool! You’ll cut through the shingles. Instead, tap lightly with a blunt mallet. This is slow, dangerous work, so hire someone experienced at roofing. Even if you do it safely, the chunks of ice can take pieces of shingle with them.

2. Clear out gutters and downspouts. Again, this is ladder work and an easy way to damage either plastic or metal gutters and spouts.

3. Melt troughs through the ice dam with calcium chloride ice melter. Do NOT use rock salt! It will damage paint, metals, and plants beneath the eave and wherever the salty water drains.

A good trough-maker is a tube of cloth (a leg from an old pair of panty hose works well). Fill it with calcium chloride, tie off the top, and lay it vertically across the ice dam. It will slowly melt its way down through the dam, clearing a path for the underlying water to flow free.

PREVENTING ICE DAMS

You can scrape snow from the roof whenever it falls, using a snow rake from below or a broom or plastic shovel from above. BE CAREFUL: The first method can bury you in snow, while the second can send you slipping off the roof. Hire someone who knows how to use a safety line.

You can replace your shingle roof with standing seam or other metal roof. Or you can replace the bottom three feet or so of your shingle roof with a wide metal drip edge. Whatever you do, install a water-repellant membrane under any new roofing.

Asphalt roofing popularity among homeowners

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Asphalt Roofing Shingles Popularity?

Asphalt roofing shingles are engineered to beautify and protect your home against inclement weather and offer protection against water infiltration caused by wind-driven rain or ice dams. This material is especially popular with homeowners and contractors for the following reasons:

    • Cost Effective. Asphalt is less expensive than steel roofing, natural stone tiles or genuine wood shakes.
    • Low Maintenance. Asphalt has fewer maintenance issues than stone tiles or wood shakes.
    • Easy Installation. Asphalt is quicker and easier to install than other types of roofing materials.
    • Wide Variety. Asphalt is widely available in a huge assortment of colors, pattern designs and sizes.

Asphalt roofing shingles are less expensive than other types of roofing materials, which explains their popularity and operates as a sealant that waterproofs the ceiling of your home.  It also increases the strength of the shingle itself. The length of time you can expect the shingles to perform will depend on your climate, installation, and a variety of other factors. Note that asphalt shingle warranties vary considerably from one manufacturer to another. Many companies offer limited lifetime warranties and assorted pro-rated periods.

Asphalt Roofing

Roof Shingle Types

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Roof Shingle Types

Asphalt roofing shingles are available in two primary forms: three-tab and dimensional.

  • Three-tab asphalt shingles are a linear, traditional style that is rapidly declining in popularity and gradually disappearing altogether.
  • Dimensional roofing shingles are preferred by today’s discerning homeowners. These laminated shingles come in a wide variety of colors, styles and profiles, each designed to fit a range of looks and budgets.

High-end dimensional roofing shingles can mimic the designer look of natural slate tiles or genuine cedar shakes without their associated expense or maintenance worries. In areas where local fire codes prohibit the use of wood shakes, these Class A, Fire- Resistance-rated dimensional shingles can help you achieve the look of real wood.

Asphalt shingles are less expensive than other types of roofing materials, which explains their popularity. Asphalt operates as a sealant that waterproofs the ceiling of your home. Due to the solidity of asphalt, it also increases the strength of the shingle itself. The length of time you can expect the shingles to perform will depend on your climate, installation, and a variety of other factors. Note that asphalt shingle warranties vary considerably from one manufacturer to another. Many companies offer limited lifetime warranties and assorted pro-rated periods.

Roof Streak and Discoloration

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Signs of dark streaks or discoloration, can begin to show approximately five years after an installed roof. Mistaken for dirt or granule loss, the dark streaks usually appear on the north-facing slope of the roof. These streaks are commonly caused by algae growth that is prominent in areas of the roof that receive less sunlight. Moisture & Algae Roof slopes that are shaded or receive little sunlight will hold moisture for a longer period of time which can result in algae growth. The discoloration or streaking is an aesthetic concern and does not affect the life of the roof system or its waterproofing characteristics.

Zinc strips can be added to a ridge of a roof to prevent algae from forming. Various solutions can be used to remove algae growth, although this is a temporary solution, as it will grow back. Use Caution When Cleaning. It is important to use extreme care when attempting to remove discoloration as many harsh treatments or power washing can harm your roof system and result in granule loss.

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What are the components of a Residential Roof?

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We use Certainteed a lot! It’s a great brand and widely preferred amongst our local roof replacement customers. This informative webpage gives a clear explanation of the different components of residential roofing…a good read if you’re in the market for a new roof! Here’s the link and below if the great information they shared.
http://www.certainteed.com/residential-roofing/what-are-components-residential-roof/

What are the components of a Residential Roof?

Residential Roofing Products
Residential Roofing Products include those products necessary to provide a quality roofing system typically for a consumer’s home, garage or other residential applications. Residential roofing products are usually designed for steep slope application. Products can include roofing shingles, underlayments and accessory products.
Roofing Shingles

CertainTeed manufactures high-quality asphalt roofing shingles in a wide variety of styles and colors for residential applications. Asphalt roofing shingles are the most commonly used residential roofing products in the market. There are three major categories of roofing shingles including strip roofing shingles, dimensional roofing shingles and premium roofing shingles.
Strip shingles are the most basic of residential roofing products available in the market. They are single layered roofing shingles that are generally designed to look like slate. CertainTeed manufactures strip shingles under the product names CT™ 20, XT™ 25, and XT™ 30.
Dimensional roofing shingles typically are heavier weight than strip roofing shingles. They are manufactured as dual-layered products or multi-layered in the case of CertainTeed’s tri-laminate technology. CertainTeed manufactures the Landmark® Series Roofing Shingle as an example of a dimensional roofing shingle
Premium roofing shingles are typically laminated and provide enhanced aesthetics and an increased design element. CertainTeed manufactures Grand Manor®, Presidential Shake® TL, and Carriage House®.

Underlayments
Underlayments are designed for use on residential roof decks as a water-resistant layer beneath roofing shingles. CertainTeed manufactures the utility grade felt underlayments ShingleFelt® 30 and the fiber glass-reinforced felt underlayment Roofers’ Select®. We also market a high performance synthetic underlayment called DiamondDeck®. Waterproofing shingle underlayments prevent leaks from ice dams and wind-driven rain in vulnerable areas. CertainTeed manufactures the product WinterGuard®.
Accessory Products

Hip and Ridge
Accessory shingles are used to finish the hips and ridges of a residential roof and carry the same warranty as the shingles they are applied over. There are a number of options designed to complement the appearance of shingles while providing the same level of protection and durability. CertainTeed manufactures hip and ridge accessories under the product names ShadowRidge® and Mountain Ridge®.

Starter Shingles
Starter shingles save application time. They are designed to work specifically with different styles of shingles for consistent appearance and performance. CertainTeed manufactures starter shingles under the product names Swiftstart® to be used with the Landmark® series and High Performance Starter to be used with Grand Manor®, Highland Slate® and Hatteras® shingles.

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