Stop Ice Dams and the Roof Leaks They Trigger

Right here we’re within the midst of one other chilly Massachusetts winter and like each winter right here in New England many property house owners may have main points with ice dams inflicting roof leaks and shingle harm.Though it might appear as if ice dams are an unstoppable pressure of nature, they’re truly fairly preventable. Attics and cathedral or vaulted ceiling areas which have been accurately included into the general constructing envelope haven’t got issues with ice dams and icicles within the chilly seasons. By means of the usage of correct insulation and air flow strategies ice dams could be stopped chilly (pun supposed).Right here a typical situation for the formation of ice dams:
A home has a construct up of snow on the roof.
The temperature outdoors is beneath freezing.
The temperature contained in the attic is above freezing, thus elevating the temperature of the roof itself to above freezing.
Due to the nice and cozy roof, the snow on prime of it begins to soften from the underside up.
This melted snow water tries to run down and off the roof.
As quickly because the water reaches the sting of the roof it will get uncovered to the freezing air.
The water refreezes as ice as a substitute of snow within the gutters, if current, and alongside the sides of the roof.
As an increasing number of melted snow water continues to run down the roof it simply retains freezing behind and on prime of the beforehand frozen run off, forming a much bigger and larger ice dam.
So How Do Ice Dams Trigger Roof Leaks?The melted snow water does not instantly freeze anymore after the ice dam has begun to take form. As soon as the ice dam has constructed up a bit it actually creates a dam that traps the remainder of the water making an attempt to run off the roof behind it. Whereas this trapped water will finally freeze, it might take some time and through that point a portion of the shingles on this roof, behind the ice dam, are mainly submerged in water.

Now after all your roof shingles are clearly suppose to guard your private home from the climate i.e. rain and snow. Nonetheless, most roofing supplies aren’t meant to have a pond or river on prime of them.So What Can You Do To Stop Ice Dams?At the start you should acknowledge that correct insulation and air flow is the important thing(see picture on proper). If we’re speak about an attic space then sometimes which means the insulation must run up the partitions of your home then over the attic ground joists forming an excellent insulation envelope. Within the attic situation solely the ground of the attic ought to be insulated, not the underside of the roof!Correct air flow can be required. Exterior air wants to have the ability to enter the attic in order that the attic temperature is identical because the temperature outdoors. You obtain this air flow via the usage of gable vents, soffit vents and a roof ridge vent.In roof techniques with attic areas beneath them it’s pretty straight ahead to have a contractor that is aware of what they’re doing to right any issues so far as correct insulation and air flow. Nonetheless, roof techniques with a cathedral ceiling beneath them which have these points are rather more of a undertaking to right, however they are often corrected.To be able to have a correctly ventilated and insulated cathedral ceiling the contractor should set up baffles inside every rafter bay earlier than putting in the insulation. These baffles permit air to movement between the soffit vents and the ridge vent which retains the underside of the roof the identical temperature as outdoors. If these baffles ore not put in in your cathedral ceiling then the contractor might want to take away the present sheetrock and insulation out of your ceiling in an effort to correctly ventilate the world. Such a undertaking will probably be costlier than an attic undertaking.Along with the ice dam subject, in case your attic is hotter than the surface temperature you’re additionally losing a lot of cash heating that area. So mainly you’re paying extra cash in your heating invoice for the privilege of rising good huge ice dams and icicles that trigger roof leaks and destroy your roof. Type of makes it even worse once you consider it that manner does not it?What Can You Do About Present Ice Dams?If it is the center of the winter and you’ve got ice dams or via previous expertise you assume they are going to be forming quickly there are some measures you may take. To start with, if you do not have expertise climbing on a roof within the winter, particularly with snow on it, do not do it! Name a professional. What you are able to do is go to your native ironmongery store and purchase a snow rake that has an extendable deal with designed to tug snow off of the primary few ft of the roof and try to tug a few of that snow off, from the bottom, earlier than it has an opportunity to soften and refreeze alongside the roof edges. It’s also possible to do that as soon as the ice dam has fashioned and hold it from getting any greater and provides it an opportunity to soften, hopefully.Additionally, many roofing contractors, us included, work via the winter and sometimes present roof snow elimination providers along with their typical roofing providers. It is a service we’re comfortable to supply for our clients right here in Massachusetts, for instance. Once more, please do not attempt to do that your self. Between icy ladders and slippery roof surfaces it’s a recipe for catastrophe for the inexperienced.There are additionally some merchandise available on the market that may help in stopping ice dams earlier than they kind and melting them if they’ve already fashioned. You must be capable to discover a residence enchancment retailer in your space that sells a product that’s mainly a coated, heated wire that you simply fasten alongside the sides of the roof after which plug in when the circumstances are proper for the ice dams to kind (see image on proper). These truly work fairly good, nevertheless, they are not fixing the true drawback which, after all, is air flow and insulation points. They might be proper for some properties in some circumstances although.

Most residence enchancment and shops additionally promote pellets or tablets which are designed to be thrown up onto the roof from the bottom. These tablets then supposedly will soften the ice from the roof as they dissolve into the water that’s operating down the roof into the ice dam. I’ve no expertise with these merchandise so I can not say for sure in the event that they work as designed or not. Nonetheless, some folks say they’ve labored for his or her ice dam issues. A few issues I’d be nervous about as a roofing contractor is potential harm to the shingles from the chemical compounds these tablets are manufactured from (salt is not any good for asphalt shingles), in addition to presumably staining the roof with those self same chemical compounds. And even in a base case state of affairs this product continues to be only a band-aid for a larger drawback.Correct Roofing Methods For Chilly ClimatesIn addition to creating certain that the roof has correct air flow and attic insulation there may be a further degree of safety towards ice dam points and roof leaks that every one accountable and moral roofing contractors ought to be taking in chilly climate climates close to pitched, asphalt shingled roofs. When a brand new roof is put in, today, an additional layer of safety known as ice and water membrane ought to be put in from the sting to at the least three ft up the roof.This added layer of safety will assist stop leaks if ice dams do develop alongside the roof edges. Ice and water membrane is not going to stop ice dams it merely is added safety to assist shield the plywood sheathing beneath the asphalt shingles and forestall leaks ought to an ice dam kind.

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