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Tips to prevent ice dams on your roof

Preventing Roof Ice Dams Image - Nashville TN - Gutterman of TNEach winter as snow and ice hits your rooftop, that snow poses a danger in the form of ice dams. Left unchecked, ice dams can cause major damage, as the ice along your roof line prevents melting snow from flowing into your gutters. Instead, the water is forced back under the shingles. From the shingles, the water will saturate the roof and drip into your home’s walls, ceilings and soffits. That can mean stained walls, peeling wallpaper and sagging ceilings.

How ice dams form

To prevent ice dams, it helps to understand how ice dams form. When snow sits on your roof, the heat from your attic warms and melts it. The water runs downward and refreezes at the colder, outer edges of your roof line, creating ice dams. This process continues with more and more water hitting the edge of your roof and freezing, creating larger and larger ice dams.

Tips for preventing ice dams

The best way to prevent water damage from ice dams is to prevent ice dams from forming in the first place. Because ice dams form due to irregular temperatures on the roof, the best way to combat ice dams is to create a consistent temperature on your roof top. Some ways to do this include:

  • Vent the attic. Heat rises to the top of home, which makes the peak of your roof its warmest part. Adding vents to your roof’s ridge line and to your soffits can lower the temperature of your attic, which can prevent snow from melting rapidly on your rooftop.
  • Insulate the attic floor. By adding insulation to your attic floor, you will keep the heat within your home. Not only will this help with your home heating bills, it will help to keep your attic from heating your roof and melting snow. Don’t forget to insulate and add weather stripping to the attic hatch.
  • Update your lighting. If you have older recessed lights in your home, they can put off a lot of heat into your attic. Adding insulation to prevent heat transfer from these lights creates a major fire hazard. Replace them with new sealed can lights that can be safely insulated.

Don’t forget air ducts, pipes and cables. When you insulate, include the air ducts, pipes and cables that run through your attic. Seal the joints on your air ducts and cover with insulation. Calk around electric lines and vent pipes.

What to do if ice dams form

As with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to ice dams. However, in periods of heavy snow, it can sometimes be impossible to stop ice dams. If you notice ice dams have formed on the edge of your roof, call in the roofing professionals! Roofers have special steamers to remove ice dams without causing damage. Never try to remove dams yourself, as you can badly damage your roof.

For more information on preventing ice dams or for a gutter and roof inspection, contact us at The Gutterman of TN today!

How to Hire a Roofing Company

Replacing the roof on your home is an expensive project. When you choose a roofer, you want to be confident you’re hiring a reliable, cost-effective contractor who will do the job right. We’ve compiled our best tips for finding the best roofing contractor for the job.

Don't Hire The Wrong Roofing Company - Nashville TN - Gutterman of TN-w800-h800
Seek referrals

Don’t just look through the phone book or perform an Internet search for a roofing contractor in your area. Talk to family, friends and coworkers about roofers they have personal experience with. If you can’t find a referral from a friend, ask at the local lumberyard or contact the local builders association. Try to find two to three contractors to consider for the job.

Do your homework

Once you find a few contractors to investigate, look up their background. It’s wise to choose a contractor who has been in business for at least five years. It shows that they’re stable, they likely do work that leaves customers satisfied and they’ll still be in business if you have a problem. Check with the Better Business Bureau and consumer groups like Angie’s List for reviews and to be sure the company hasn’t had any complaints filed against them.

Get references

Ask the companies for references and drive by other home’s they’ve roofed. Check to see that the shingles are evenly spaced and lined up. Shingles should be trimmed neatly along the roof’s valleys, and any flashings should be tar free. When you speak to the homeowners, ask if they would use the roofer again, if they’ve had any problems with leaks, if the project stayed on budget, if the roofer damaged property and if there was a foreman overseeing the project who they could turn to with any questions or concerns.

Ask for a quote

Get at least two quotes from contractors who have checked out through the previous three steps. While getting the quote, ask good questions, such as how they will remove trash from the property, how they will protect your landscaping, whether they are insured and what the guarantee on the work is. Contractors should be insured for at least $1 million, and while the shingle manufacturer will have a long-term guarantee on the materials, ask about guarantees for the contractor’s work on flashing and against leaks. There should be at least a one year guarantee, though two to three years is preferable.

Sign a contract

Once you choose your roofer, get the details of the project written down and sign an official contract. The contract should list the budget and guarantee on the contractor’s work. There also should be a price for the cost of replacing plywood, if needed, during the course of the reroofing. Some contractors will charge an exorbitant amount for replacing rotten plywood if a cost wasn’t agreed upon in the contract.

Consider The Gutterman!

If you’re looking for a roofer, call The Gutterman! We’re confident that we’ll be able to meet what you’re looking for in a roofing project and provide you with a beautiful, leak free roof that will be a well-placed investment in your home.

Common roof problems

Too often, roof problems go unnoticed until there’s a major issue, like rotting supports or water leaking through your ceiling into your home. We’ve compiled a list of the five elements of your roof most likely to cause a maintenance problem. If you watch out for warning signs, you can identify potential roofing problems and address them before they become invasive and expensive home repairs.

Roof Problems to Look For - Nashville Tn - Gutterman of TN

Fascia

Fascia is the vertical edging that runs along the bottom of your roofline. It creates a protective barrier between the elements and the bottom of the roof. It also prevents water and moisture from making its way into your home at your roofline. The most common problem with fascia is moisture damage. It’s important to regularly check your fascia for signs of water damage and moisture, and water-damaged fascia can lead to water damage in the rest of your home’s structure.

Soffit

If you stand under the eaves of your roof and look up, you’ll see your soffit. Soffit has small vents in it that help with air circulation, drawing moisture heat and moisture away from your home and helping to regulate the temperature in your attic. Make sure you check your soffit regularly for cracks and signs of water damage. It’s also important to look for holes or damage caused by insects or rodents, as they are drawn to this portion of your roofline and can cause damage or enter the rest of your home.

Flashings

Flashings seal any disruptions in your roofing, like the portions around vents, skylights, chimneys and pipes. Flashing prevents water from leaking into your home at these weak points in your roof. Most flashing is made from galvanized steel and can corrode or break down over time. It’s important to have flashings checked regularly to avoid having water leaking in through your roof to your home’s supports.

Gutters

You’re familiar with your gutters: They usher water away from your roof and away from your home’s foundation. The most common problems with gutters, of course, is that they can become clogged with leaves, twigs and other debris, preventing them from working properly. Gutters also can become dislodged or develop leaks over time. It’s important to keep your gutters in good working order, as failing gutters can lead to water damage, and mold and mildew growth under your roofline.

Shingles

Shingles are, of course, the primary means of protecting your home’s roof from the elements. As they age, shingles can curl, buckle, break or separate from the roof. Any weakness in the shingles, of course, puts your home at risk for major water damage. Be on the lookout for any curling or missing shingles, as well as any discoloration in your roof, which can be an indicator of water damage.

If you notice any areas of concern in your roof, call The Gutterman of Tennessee. While our name says Gutters, we can fix any of your roofing problems and save your home from more extensive water damage.

The Gutterman of TN also installs roofs

Our name might not suggest it, but The Gutterman of TN also installs quality roofs! We pride ourselves on providing Middle Tennessee with top-of-the-line roofs meant to stand up to all of Tennessee’s brutal weather conditions.

Every roofing job performed by The Gutterman begins with top-quality products. The roofing materials we use are only the best from the leading companies in the roofing industry, Owens Corning and Certainteed. All roofing materials we use are UL-tested and certified to prevent algae growth, provide impact protection and withstand the harshest wind. Our roofing systems will increase your the look of your home and can even make your home more comfortable and lower your home’s heating and cooling bills.The Gutterman of TN also installs roofs - Nashville TN - Gutterman of TN

In addition to using top-quality products, there are several reasons you should consider The Gutterman when it’s time to replace your roof:

  • We’re a local company. Consumer-protection agencies warn against hiring roofing companies that aren’t based in your area. Often, those companies will travel through towns when demand for new roofs is high — after a weather disaster or in spring — and then the roll back out of town when demand decreases. The problem there is that they are concerned with doing as many jobs as possible in as little time as possible, without much concern for quality. And when you have a problem with your roof, they’ve already left town.
  • We have decades of roofing experience. Contractors that perform sub-par roofing jobs don’t stay in business for long, which renders any warranties they give worthless. The Gutterman has been roofing houses in Middle Tennessee for decades because we do the job right, and you can be sure that we aren’t going to disappear any time soon if you have concerns regarding your new roof.
  • We can provide plenty of references. The Gutterman has served countless happy customers. We can provide you with references, which you always should have when considering a roofing company. We can direct you to some of our previous jobs so you can see our attractive, high-quality final product.
  • We come with credentials. The Gutterman is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business and a recipient of the Angie’s List Super Service Award. When you hire The Gutterman, you can be confident that you’ll deal with professionals who will do the job right and treat you with respect. We’ll leave you happy with your new roof and with the roofing experience.

If it’s time to put a new roof on your home, call The Gutterman of TN today! We’ll show you all of our high-quality roofing options and walk you through the advantages of each one. We’ll help you select the roof that is right for your home, and we’ll provide you with an honest quote. While our names might not say “roofs,” our service experience does! Let us show you the quality roofs The Gutterman has to offer.

Leaks From Ice Dams Are a Roofing Problem, Not a Gutter Problem

Cold winter temperatures and ample winter snow can cause many problems with your home, but one of the biggest problems can be leaking along the eaves of your home caused by ice dams. Too often, that water damage is blamed on the gutters. In reality, leaks from ice dams are a roofing problem, not a gutter problem. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your home from water damage due to ice dams.

How ice dams form Leaks From Ice Dams Are a Roofing Problem, Not a Gutter Problem - Nashville TN- Gutterman of TN

The heat from your attic melts the snow on your roof, except for at the eaves. As water runs down your roof line, it freezes at the colder eaves and an ice dam forms. Those ice dams can cause major damage. Gutters and shingles can be forced off your home. The dams also can force melting water back into your home if your roof has not been adequately waterproofed. That can lead to warped floors, sagging ceilings, peeling paint, stained walls or moldy and weakened insulation.

Quick solutions for ice dams

There are several steps you can take to prevent ice dams from damaging your home. Before the snow falls, you can install heated cables made specifically for preventing ice dams in a zig-zagged pattern along the edge of your roof. Once the snow has fallen, you can use a specialized rake to remove snow from your roof. If you notice ice dams, you can fill a nylon stocking with the specialized snow melt made for sidewalks and parking lots and toss them onto the dams. Never take a hammer, chisel or other hard tool to the roof, as that can damage your shingles and ultimately let more water into your home. If you notice water leaking into your attic, you can point a fan at the wet spot to instantly stop the leak.

Long term solutions for ice dams

Of course, the best approach for ice dams is to improve your home’s infrastructure to prevent dams from forming and, if they form, to prevent them from causing any water damage. The most effective way to prevent ice dams to improve the insulation to your roof, as the heat escape from the roof is what melts snow and causes ice dams and leaks. Improving the infrastructure to your home can and insulation can be costly and an easier solution is adding a water barrier under the singles of your room.

A water barrier is not required for most of the southeast due the few amounts of snowfall we receive every year, but it is code and required for many homes with cold and snowy climates. This water barrier can save you thousands in water damage to hard to reach places of your home. So the next time you have re-roof your home, make sure that a 3- to 6-foot wide adhesive ice and water barrier is placed along the roof’s edge.

While ice dams can cause major home damage, a few preventative measures can protect your home during the winter months and save you from repeated, costly repairs.