Here we’re within the midst of another bloodless Massachusetts iciness and prefer each wintry weather right here in New England many belongings proprietors could have essential troubles with ice dams causing roof leaks and shingle harm.
Although it is able to seem as though ice dams are an unstoppable force of nature, they’re in reality quite preventable. Attics and cathedral or vaulted ceiling regions that have been efficaciously included into the overall constructing envelope don’t have troubles with ice dams and icicles within the cold seasons. Through using proper insulation and ventilation techniques ice dams can be stopped cold (pun intended).
Here an ordinary scenario for the formation of ice dams:
A house has a building up of snow on the roof.
The temperature out of doors is under freezing.
The temperature within the attic is above freezing, therefore raising the temperature of the roof itself to above freezing.
Because of the warm roof, the snow on top of it starts to soften from the lowest up.
This melted snow water attempts to run down and rancid the roof.
As soon as the water reaches the brink of the roof it gets exposed to the freezing air.
The water refreezes as ice instead of snow in the gutters, if present, and alongside the rims of the roof.
As increasingly melted snow water continues to run down the roof it just maintains freezing behind and on top of the previously frozen run off, forming a bigger and bigger ice dam.
So How Do Ice Dams Cause Roof Leaks?
The melted snow water does not right now freeze couvreur 93 anymore after the ice dam has all started to take form. Once the ice dam has constructed up a chunk it actually creates a dam that traps the relaxation of the water seeking to run off the roof in the back of it. While this trapped water will sooner or later freeze, it could take some time and at some stage in that time a portion of the shingles in this roof, behind the ice dam, are basically submerged in water.
Now of course your roof shingles are obviously suppose to defend your house from the weather i.E. Rain and snow. However, maximum roofing substances aren’t supposed to have a pond or river on top of them.
So What Can You Do To Prevent Ice Dams?
First and predominant you have to recognize that right insulation and ventilation is the important thing(see photograph on right). If we’re talk approximately an attic region then usually which means the insulation needs to run up the walls of your property then over the attic ground joists forming a perfect insulation envelope. In the attic state of affairs most effective the floor of the attic need to be insulated, now not the underside of the roof!
Proper air flow is likewise required. Outside air needs with a purpose to input the attic so that the attic temperature is the same as the temperature outdoor. You acquire this air flow through the use of gable vents, soffit vents and a roof ridge vent.
In roof structures with attic areas beneath them it within reason straight forward to have a contractor that is aware of what they are doing to accurate any problems as far as right insulation and ventilation. However, roof structures with a cathedral ceiling under them which have those problems are an awful lot greater of a venture to accurate, but they may be corrected.
In order to have a well ventilated and insulated cathedral ceiling the contractor should deploy baffles inside each rafter bay earlier than putting in the insulation. These baffles allow air to float among the soffit vents and the ridge vent which continues the underside of the roof the equal temperature as outside. If these baffles ore now not installed for your cathedral ceiling then the contractor will need to do away with the present sheetrock and insulation out of your ceiling so as to properly ventilate the location. This kind of project could be more high-priced than an attic venture.
In addition to the ice dam issue, in case your attic is warmer than the out of doors temperature you are also losing lots of cash heating that space. So essentially you are paying more money for your heating bill for the privilege of developing nice large ice dams and icicles that purpose roof leaks and damage your roof. Kind of makes it even worse whilst you think of it that manner doesn’t it?
What Can You Do About Existing Ice Dams?
If it’s the middle of the wintry weather and you have ice dams or via past enjoy you think they may be forming quickly there are some measures you could take. First of all, in case you don’t have revel in climbing on a roof inside the winter, specially with snow on it, don’t do it! Call a seasoned. What you can do is visit your local hardware keep and buy a snow rake that has an extendable deal with designed to pull snow off of the first few toes of the roof and attempt to tug some of that snow off, from the floor, earlier than it has a hazard to soften and refreeze along the roof edges. You can also do this once the ice dam has shaped and hold it from getting any larger and give it a threat to soften, hopefully.
Also, many roofing contractors, us covered, work thru the winter and frequently provide roof snow removal offerings further to their usual roofing services. This is a carrier we are satisfied to provide for our clients here in Massachusetts, for instance. Again, please do not try to do that your self. Between icy ladders and slippery roof surfaces it’s miles a recipe for disaster for the green.
There are also some merchandise in the marketplace that could help in preventing ice dams earlier than they shape and melting them if they have already shaped. You need to be capable of find a domestic improvement save to your area that sells a product that is basically a coated, heated wire which you fasten alongside the rims of the roof and then plug in when the situations are right for the ice dams to shape (see photograph on proper). These certainly work pretty correct, however, they aren’t solving the actual problem which, of direction, is ventilation and insulation problems. They may be proper for some homes in a few instances though.