Ice dams can cause significant damage to your home. They are created for the most part by heat escaping upwards from your home into your attic.
For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof and at the same time higher sections of the roofs outside surface must be above 32 degrees◦Fahrenheit. The rising heat in the attic melts the snow off the roof. The melted water flows down the roof and under the snow, than freezes as it reaches your unheated eaves and overhangs.
Continuously cold temperatures are a main factor in this event. Heavy snow followed by several days of 40 degree◦temperatures probably won’t result in an ice dam. The air temperature must remain cold enough for water to freeze. When temperatures fall below 20◦degrees, conditions are especially favorable. If you see icicles, that is an indication of this melting-refreezing action. As an ice dam is created, the water builds up behind it. If the dam builds high enough, water will find its way inside and either stain the drywall or show up as a leak.
Three easy steps to help eliminate ice damming from occurring:
- Equalize temperature over the entire roof area. This is done by installing proper intake and exhaust ventilation. Cold outside air is drawn into the soffit vents, then washed over the underside of the roof decking to the ridge vent.
- Attic insulation is probably the most important factor in this equation. It minimizes heat loss from your homes living quarters. Insulation also diminishes the energy impact of having cold air flowing through the attic.
- Adding waterproofing shingle underlayment will help prevent the pooled water at the dam from entering your home. Always insist on this type of product when installing a new roof on your home.
If you have any questions or want an evaluation of your home to prevent future ice damming problems, contact us at DryHome Roofing & Siding, Inc.