Ice Dams

 In Blog

Ice Dams are layers of ice that can form along the edge of your roof.
When snow melts, it becomes trapped behind the ice dam and can leak into your home.

How does this happen?

First, heat collects in your attic and warms up your roof, except at the eaves.  Snow then melts on the warm area and the water moves down to the cold eaves where it freezes.  Ice builds up and forms a dam that prevents the moisture from correctly escaping.  Instead, the water flows  underneath  the shingles and into your home.


How can you prevent Ice Dams?

  • Ridge and Eave ventilation:  Continuous ridge vent  and soffit vents circulate cold air underneath the roof.
  • Seal the Hatch:  Heat can escape through an unsealed attic hatch or whole house fan.   Cover them with foil faced foam board and aluminum tape.
  • All exhaust Out:  Any ducts that connect to the kitchen, bathroom, or dryer vents should lead outdoors.  This can be through the roof or the walls but should never be through the soffit.
  • Insulation:  Adding insulation to the attic floor helps keep the heat where it belongs.  Check with your local building department to find out how much insulation your attic needs.
  • Use Sealed Can Lights: The old type of recessed lights give off a lot of heat and can create a fire hazard if insulated. Sealed “IC” fixtures can be covered with insulation.
  • Caulk the Penetrations:  With a fire-stop sealant, seal around your vent pipes and electrical cables.  Check for light shining through or places the insulation might be stained from dirt from air passing through.

Whenever Apple Roofing replaces a roof, we use an underlayment product called “Ice & Water Shield” which helps prevent damage caused by ice dams or wind-driven rain.  If you need a new roof or you’re not quite sure, give us a call!  We’re happy to help!

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