6 Ways Ice Can Damage Your Home
One of the biggest seasonal threats to your home is the ice that comes with the winter season. Ice tends to form during the coldest parts of the season, particularly after a heavy snowfall that leaves snowmelt on the roof of your house.
The most common thing that you see during this is icicles forming along the edge of your roof, which seems harmless enough at first glance. But ice can cause a lot of unexpected damage that is expensive to repair and possible to prevent. One of the number one concerns about damage to your home has to do with protecting your gutters.
1. Water Damage From Ice Damming
Ice is especially dangerous to gutters as ice damming can occur, which will damage gutters and allow water to leak into your house. Ice damming can occur after a snowfall, and homes with clogged drains are especially susceptible to ice damming. Ice dams form as the water from melting snow freezes against the gutters and blocks the rest of the water from emptying out as it should. It creates a natural dam that diverts the water away from the normal gutter pathways, leaving your house exposed to potential water damage.
One of the most common forms of damage from ice damming comes from water leaking into and damaging the shingles in the area around the ice dam. Without natural drainage, the water can collect on the shingles in the area, causing damage to not only the shingles themselves but also whatever is underneath them. This can cause insulation problems, wiring issues, and any number of other things in the attic space below the roof.
Icicles can be caused in a few different ways. One of the main causes is through ice damming, which provides a path for the water to seep down the edge of the gutter and freeze, forming icicles.
Though icicles are certainly beautiful, they also are very dangerous for your gutters. The extra weight from the icicles can break gutters or even pull them off of the house entirely, which leaves you with an expensive gutter repair cost. It doesn’t matter who the gutter installer is or how well the gutter installation goes, icicles can still cause this damage.
3. Frozen Gutters and Downspouts
Similar to the problems caused by icicles, there can be severe damage done to your home as a result of frozen downspouts and gutters. This problem is especially common in gutters that are already prone to get blocked up by leaves of other debris. This makes the issue of ice even worse as it allows for the ice to form even easier.
When this happens, the extra weight from the ice can break the gutters and pull them away from the house. The ice also can cause damage as it expands in the space because the gutters don’t have the ability to expand with it. The gutters and downspouts may crack open or even break apart entirely from the pressure of the expanding ice.
4. Snow and Ice Weight
Weight also becomes a problem for the entire roof, especially after a heavy snowfall. This is made even worse if the downspouts are clogged and the water doesn’t have anywhere to drain. The snow and ice can stack up and cause damage to the entire roof, including the shingles and the structural supports for it. This can cause not only leaks to spring up, but can also cause major roof damage if the problem continues without being dealt with.
5. Ice Covered Branches
Ice can cause damage even if it isn’t directly connected to your home! The trees around your house can become huge problems very quickly as winter ice sets in. Not only does the extra weight from the ice put a strain on the limbs themselves, but the cold temperature also makes branches more prone to breaking. These breakable limbs can cause surface damage to the roof, breaking away shingles and causing minor leaks.
Bigger branches can cause even worse damage to the structural integrity of the roof, especially if combined with the pressure and weight of snow and ice buildup that is already on the roof.
6. Burst Water Pipes
Though last on the list, burst water pipes can be devastating to the integrity of your house. On days where the temperature dips especially low, the water running in the pipes of your home may be susceptible to freezing. This causes problems as the ice expands and cracks or even bursts pipes. This can become particularly costly if these pipes run through the ceiling of your house as major leaks are caused below the protection of the roofline.
All of these problems can become even worse if they are overlooked and are not dealt with soon. Even minor leaks can cause catastrophic damage over a long period of time. During the cold winter months, it is essential to take the necessary precautions to protect your house.
Gutter maintenance is essential and having a professional gutter installer like Storm Master Gutters may be one of the best precautions that you can take. Though gutter installation can appear to be easy to do, it is extremely important that it is done well. If you need gutter installation, you can simply look up “gutter contractors near me” and find your nearest Storm Master Gutters location.
Suppose these precautions come too late and your house has already suffered damage from ice damming or any of the other ice-related damages. In that case, you can also fix these issues after the fact. Damage caused by leaking is most often done over a long period of time, and even the smallest leak can cause a lot of damage over time.
Taking precautions is important, but also regularly looking out for potential problems with your gutters and roof and taking care of them will be especially important. Take care of your gutters, roof, and whole house during the winter months just as it takes care of you for the entire year.