Tag Archives: Ice Dams

Ice Dams

Ice dams form when heat enters an attic and melts snow on the roof. Themelted snow (water) runs down the roof, under the blanket of snow, to the edge of the roof where colder conditions cause it to freeze, forming ice dams. If ice dams are not removed, water may be caught behind them, forced under shingles or spill over to form icicles. This can result in costly damage to your home: wet (ineffective) insulation; stained or cracked plaster or sheetrock; damp, rotting walls; and stained, blistered or peeling paint.

this old ice dam

Ways to prevent ice dams

Insulate- Do not let the heat from your home escape into your attic. The function of insulation is to resist the transfer of heat from your living space to the attic. An attic floor with sealed bypasses and properly installed insulation will be the most effective. Proper insulation will also save you money on your home’s heating bill.

Ventilate-   Install ridge vents at the peaks of your roof. Also, vents along the soffits and eaves of your roof. This will allow proper air circulation, keeping the temperature of the attic consistent with the outside air.

Clean your gutters- Clogged gutters give the snow and ice somewhere to accumulate. We recommend cleaning your gutters at least twice per year, once in the spring and fall.

Underlayment- Water-proofing underlayment does not prevent the formation of ice dams, it will prevent backed up water from getting into the house. It is a critical last line of defense against leaks, preventing backed up water from getting into your home wherever it is applied. When installing any roof system, we apply ice & water shield underlayment to before the shingles are applied as recommending by the manufacturers.

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