Many people mistakenly think that rain gutters cause ice dams. This past winter proved that with gutters or not, ice dams amounted to millions in damages to home, & immeasurable headaches.
You have ice dams on your home that can damage the roof and cause water leaks inside, damaging ceilings, walls, floors & create potential indoor air quality issues. Ice dams generally form when a large snowfall is followed by several days with temperatures below freezing. When the warm air from your home seeps into the attic, it rises up and heats the higher section of the roof. The snow on the top of the roof melts and the water drains down the roof to the cold overhang, where it freezes. This cycle over several days creates an ice dam, which grows every time is snows.
As of 2014 new building codes now require new (& remodeled) homes to have even more insulation than before & have living ares of the home air tight by means of air sealing attics & other areas of the home to keep heat in. Older homes are insulation deficient, & have serious air leakage which can be easily remedied at minimal cost. These home are the target of energy efficiency & weatherization programs across the US.
Do not go up on your roof to try and solve the problem. Fixing leaks in the roof won’t prevent ice dams in the future. To solve the problem (& save on your energy bills):
- Seal air leaks between your living space and the attic, to prevent warm air from rising into the attic and to the roof.
- Seal leaky air ducts in your attic to prevent the warm air from escaping into your attic.
- Add more insulation to your attic. Your insulation contractor will be able to advise you on the best type and the amount of insulation you need.
- Make sure there’s sufficient ventilation in the attic so that any warm air isn’t trapped in the attic and heating up the roof. Make sure there’s no insulation blocking the vents.
- Have an assessment completed on your home, to evaluate your home’s performance, show you exactly how to solve the ice dam problem, and provide a customized list of ways to increase your comfort and save energy.
How We Can Help:
Our sister company, Insul-Kings are experts in stopping & preventing ice dams. They can provide a free home assessment to determine which measures & products are appropriate for you & your home. They can even recommend rebates & incentives to help offset the expense, increasing the payback of energy savings. Insul-Kings is a one stop shop for curing your ice dam headaches.
A video from This Old House about ice dams.