Preventing ice dams

Posted by Roofco March 3, 2019

Winter comes with tons of excitement! From the beautiful snow-carpeted surfaces perfect for ice skating to the winter games with your kids such as making snow angels. But like all things in life, there is also the negative side to winter. One of the biggest concerns for most homeowners is dealing with ice dams. Here is everything you need to know about ice dams and how to prevent them.

How does formation of ice dams happen?

Ice dams form due to the different temperatures across your roof. Heavy snow falls onto your roof and freezes. Since most homes crank up the heat inside the house, the heated air inside the house rises to the upper surface of your roof. It rises even faster around the attic. As a result, heated air melts the frozen snow, which flows to the lower section of your roof. The melted snow then refreezes upon reaching the lower sections of the roof, as this part of the roof rarely receives heated air from indoors.

More ice melting from the upper surface of the roof flows as water and collects behind the frozen ice on the lower section of your roof. This results in a pool of cold water known as ice dams. The water collected will eventually sips under the roofing shingles and leak through your ceiling. You can however get ahead of the situation by preventing ice dams from forming.

How to prevent ice dams

Keeping the entire roof cold is the key to preventing ice dams from forming. This way, the snow doesn’t melt into the water that finds its way into your ceiling. This is achieved through the following.

  •     Install all-round ceiling insulation

An all-round insulation prevents heated air from escaping from different rooms to your roof. The most recommended insulation is installing the 12-inch R-38 fiberglass across the entire ceiling. You may use extra insulation on the areas not completely covered by the R-38 glass, such as the section between the roof’s sheathing and the walls’ top plate. The fiberglass keeps the heated air from escaping to the roof.

  •        Proper ventilation

An all-round ceiling installation alone will not do the job. Even with the right insulation, the air indoors is always warmer than that outside. You, therefore, need to keep the temperature under the roof deck as cold as possible. Ventilation through an HVAC system comes to the rescue by providing continuous airflow right from the soffit of the roof to the ridge and peak of the roof.

  •        Clean the gutters

Melted Ice from your roof needs a clear path to flow. Ensure you rid your gutters of any debris such as leaves, twigs and any other blockages. This greatly minimizes the chances of the melted water from flowing into the ceiling.

  •        Keep attic heat to a minimum

The attic may get warm from the air in your living space below as well as heat from a light source such as a light bulb. Ensure you install attic floor and ductwork installation to keep the attic heat at a minimum.

Do not wait for a snowfall to start ice dam-proofing your home. To avoid incurring the hefty cost of replacing a rotten roof and ceiling boards, take preventative measures as early as during the fall. For more information on how to deal with ice dams, don’t hesitate to talk to a reliable ice dam removal company today!