Preventing Roof Ice Dams

Anybody who resides in cold temperature regions must take preventative measures to safeguard their home in the formation of ice dams.

Ice dams occur when roof gutters becomes clogged with ice and debris. As water from rain or melted snow runs from the roof toward the gutter, it might be trapped between your ice within the gutter and also the roofing materials. With nowhere for that water runoff to visit, water can return and underneath roofing materials. When the water travels beneath the shingles, it might remain there to have an long time having a lengthy number of freeze/thaw cycles. Should water remain beneath the roofing materials, it will not be lengthy prior to the water starts to create roof deck damage and wood rot.

Fixing water damage and mold because of ice dams is costly.

Stopping ice dams is simple and affordable. Prevent ice dams during new construction or re-roofing by using the next measures:

1. When installing a brand new roof, always install a high quality ice and water barrier around the first 3 ft of roof eaves at least (or 2 ft beyond the first interior wall). Lower pitched roofs may need 6 ft of ice and water barrier or even more. Minimum building code for many municipalities in Wisconsin require ice and water barrier to increase in the fringe of any roof eave completely up two (2) ft beyond the interior wall. In many situations, the rooftop soffit (overhang) is 1 feet or fewer wide. Therefore, standard ice and water barrier produced in three (3) feet wide rolls will come across minimum building code. For this reason most roofers include one row (first three ft) of ice and water barrier within their bids for roofing work. For those who have wider soffit, carefully browse the minimum building code for roofing inside your town and become prepared install several row of ice and water barrier. Also observe that this really is “minimum” building code. In most cases, more is much better in cases like this, but ice and water barrier is comparatively costly in comparison with traditional tar paper underlayment. You have to weigh the expense and advantages to going past the minimum building code in cases like this.

2. Install gutters and downspouts big enough to deal with all of the water runoff out of your roof. Most contractors can calculate the required gutter capacity according to roof size. Bigger roofs will need bigger gutters with increased water capacity. Custom seamless gutters are a little more costly than prefabricated gutters, however they purchase themselves when you consider durability and maintenance. Always make certain water includes a obvious path from the downspouts and from the foundation of the home.

3. Optimize roof ventilation by balancing intake vents (soffit or gable vents) and exhaust vents (ridge vent or box vent). There must be a 50/50 balance of cold air intake vents and heated air exhaust vents within the attic room space directly beneath the roof deck. Cold air in the exterior enters the intake vents and pushes heated air from the attic room space with the exhaust vents inside a correctly functioning system. Without correct ventilation, heated air becomes held in the attic room space. This heated air will warm the rooftop and melt any standing snow. Simultaneously, cold air outdoors can freeze the melting snow and make ice, and also the freeze thaw cycle continues.

Ice dams on existing roofs could be avoided by using the steps below:

1. Clean and maintain your gutters and downspouts regularly. Make certain water can flow freely off and from your roof. When a downspout clogs and water freezes in the gutter, it’s far too late! Installing of gutter pads is a great investment which could save you some time and prevent clogs.

2. Install heated roof cables in places that frequent ice damming occurs. Heated roof cables can easily be bought, low current emitters mounted on your homes roof eaves and gutters. These cables can prevent ice from developing to begin with.

3. Install higher insulation levels in attic room spaces to make sure heated air in the house does not escape in to the attic room and warm the rooftop.

4. Calculate the quantity of roof ventilation that exists within the attic room space. Add intake or exhaust vents if there’s under 1 sq . ft . of vent area per 300 square ft of attic room space on the floor. There must be an account balance of fiftyPercent intake ventilation and 50% exhaust ventilation.

Stopping ice dams and also the damage they’ll cause is often as simple as cleaning your gutters regularly. If you cannot get it done by yourself or you have regions of frequent ice damning, call a nearby, trustworthy roofing contractor for help.