Freeze/Thaw Cycle: The Effect On Your Iowa Roof

Cold Temps, Cold Homes

Winter in Iowa is a cold one. One day it could be above freezing in the 40’s feeling like a heatwave and the next day in below freezing temps. With the wave of different temperatures, there is a good chance that one or more forms of the freeze/thaw cycle are at work on your roof. The freeze/thaw cycle can have a negative effect on your home. Read on to see how Ice Dams, snow, and cold temperatures can cause issues for your Iowa home.

freeze/thaw effect in attic

3 Examples of The Freeze/Thaw Cycle At Work On Your Roof

Freeze/Thaw Cycle: Ice Dams

Ice Dams form through uneven heating of a roof that is holding an accumulation of snow. In most cases, uneven heating is the result of heat radiating throughout the attic of the structure while the area over the eaves stays much cooler. Snow over the attic will melt and drain toward the eaves where it refreezes, forming a ledge that collects runoff that is trapped over the warmer part of the roof. Trapped water can back up under shingles and ruin roofing materials, which speeds the deterioration process.

If an ice dam and the amount of water trapped behind it becomes large enough, roof damage may also result from bearing the excess weight of ice and water. If you start to see the formation of an ice dam, such as large amounts of icicles, call a professional for help. To prevent ice dams, insulating your attic to reduce the heating of the roof is crucial.

Freeze/Thaw Cycle: Small Spaces Between Roofing Materials

Water finds its way into spaces between roofing materials, which can occur when it pools behind an ice dam. If this water freezes in these spaces, its expansion can push roofing materials apart. These tiny movements can allow increasing amounts of water into the space to freeze, expand, melt, and repeat. This can lead to the weakening of the roofing system. A way to prevent this is to handle ice dams as quickly as possible and conduct regular inspections throughout the year.

Freeze/Thaw Cycle: Separation of Flashing From Chimney, Vents, and Other Structures

Flashing is for channeling water away from the roof but with Ice Dams, it can start cracking and/or operating from vents, chimneys, ducts, etc which provides the opportunity for water to enter. Frozen water will gradually make the area larger, allowing more water to enter, which can cause more damage. Inspect flashing regularly and seal any cracks that appear.

The damage of a freeze/thaw cycle on a roof can cause significant damage to the home later down the road. It is important to properly inspect your roof regularly. If you notice anything uncertain, call a reliable and licensed contractor to come out and inspect your home. They will be able to provide solutions to any sort of issues that you may have. Call us today to get set up with a free estimate and we will find the solution to your Ice Dam problem!

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