Ice dams are a persistent problem in many houses, although not a lot of homeowners know how they form. Contrary to what most believe, they are not a result of too much snow or rain. Rather, they stem from a combination of indoor heat and improper insulation.
Read on as DryTech Roofing, your roof and siding experts, explains in this post how ice dams form and what you can do to prevent them.
Ice Dam Origins
Ice dams occur when snow on the roof melts and refreezes at the edges. The accumulating ice eventually forms a blockage that prevents the meltwater from leaving through the gutters, forming an even bigger blockage that eventually affects the gutters.This process of melting and refreezing occurs when the space inside the attic is above the freezing point due to indoor heat escaping through the roof. This in turn may be a result of poor insulation or a too-warm indoor space.
Preventing Ice Dams
You can prevent ice dams from occurring by keeping the air in the attic from getting too warm. There are many ways to do this, but the most common methods include ventilation and insulation.The first method requires adding ventilation under the roof deck so that cold air keeps circulating through the attic to prevent the air from warming above the freezing point.The second method involves adding or replacing the existing insulation in the ceiling below the attic. This is a more preventive approach as it ensures that the warm air doesn’t rise into the attic and escape through the roof.
Apart from ventilation and insulation, there are some other ways you can prevent ice dams from forming. Since the meltwater eventually ends up in the gutters, you’ll want to keep them clean to prevent blockages.
Installing vinyl siding may also help with your home’s insulation. Although they offer the same insulating properties as wood, they resist inclement weather better, which means they are better at long-term insulation.
Finally, you want to make sure that the roof is always in good condition. Things like leaks and wind damage can make ice dams worse and put the roof at greater risk of more serious winter-related issues.
At DryTech Roofing, you can count on us to help keep your home free of ice dams this winter season. We offer complete roofing and siding services. Call us today at (240) 491-5600 to learn more. We are roofing and siding experts in Maryland.