Roofing To Prevent Ice Dams

Icicles hanging from your roof’s eaves may appear lovely, but they’re a recipe for disaster. Because the same conditions that cause icicles to grow—snow-covered roofs and cold temperatures—also generate ice dams, which are thick ridges of solid ice that form along the eaves.

What Are The Consequences Of Ice Dams?

Dams can rip gutters off, loosen shingles, and cause water to back up and flood your home. When this happens, the results aren’t pretty: peeling paint, warped floors, stained and sagging ceilings are just a few of the consequences. Not to mention damp attic insulation, which loses its R-value and attracts mold and mildew. If you’re wondering how to fix an ice dam on your roof, follow these steps to prevent them from forming in the first place or to remove them once they’ve developed.

Make Use Of Heated Cables

Heated cables, which are attached to the roof’s edge in a zigzag pattern with clips, assist prevent ice dams from lifting tiles and causing leaks. This approach allows you to balance the temperature of your roof by heating it from the outside rather than blowing cold air in from the inside. Just make sure the cables are in place before terrible weather arrives.

Eaves And Ridges Should Be Ventilated

Cold air is circulated throughout the roof thanks to a ridge vent and continuous soffit vents. The apertures in both the ridge and soffit vents should have the same size, with at least one square foot of opening for every 300 square feet of attic floor. Install baffles at the eaves to keep the airflow from the soffit vents free.

Close The Hatch

A large aperture for heat to escape is an unsealed attic hatch or a whole-house fan. Weatherstripping caps constructed of foil-faced foam board and aluminum tape are used to cover them.

Outside Exhaust

Ensure that the ducts leading to the kitchen, bathroom, and dryer vents all lead to the outdoors via the roof or walls, not the soffit.

Insulate The Space

The heat stays where it belongs with more insulation on the attic level. Consult your local building department to learn how much insulation your attic needs.

Sealed Can Lights Should Be Installed

Recessed lights from the past emit large plumes of heat and cannot be insulated without posing a fire threat. Replacing them with sealed “IC” fittings that can be insulated is a good idea.

Around Chimneys, there’s a flurry of activity.

L-shaped steel flashing, kept in place with unbroken beads of a fire-stop sealant, bridges the gap between the chimney and the house framing.

It is not safe to use canned spray foam or insulation in a fire.

Ducts Should Be Sealed And Insulated

Apply fiber-reinforced mastic to the HVAC and exhaust ducts’ joints. R-5 or R-6 foil-faced fiberglass should be used to completely cover them.

Caulk Penetrations

Use a fire-stop sealant to caulk around electrical cables and vent pipes. Also, examine for any areas where the light shines up from below or where dirt from passing air has turned the insulation black.


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