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Reasons Behind Ice Dam Formation

Posted on November 23, 2010 in Roofing Installation

A warm sunny day in winter may actually cause major damage to your home – and this is because of the formation of ice dams on the roof.  Roofs need to be taken care of as they take the most of winter’s many beatings.

During the winter season, heat generated from inside the house goes up to the attic. The heat trapped in the attic melts the snow on the roof and the water created from that melted ice/snow flows to colder areas of the roof and gets trapped near the gutter.  The cold winter night then transforms this trapped water into ice.  Intense heat from the sun during the day melts more snow and the water created becomes trapped. It runs down the roof and refreezes again during the following night near the gutter region.

This results in the formation of an ice dam.  This is potentially bad news as the water further created has no place else to go other than working its way underneath the shingles, resulting in a rotting roof.

Insulation isn’t the solution, Ventilation is

Insulating the attic may significantly reduce the chances of ice dam formation, but not completely.  Proper ventilation should also be taken into consideration.

Insulation must be carried out over the living area of the home. The area over the soffits in the overhang must be left uninsulated.

Outside air must be able to freely come in through the soffits, thus keeping the temperature inside the attic similar to the outside temperature. This will help prevent ice formation.

If we lost you at soffits, then please feel free to get in touch with us at P.J. Fitzpatrick, Inc, today!  Ice and water shield protection under your shingles is the key to stopping leaks due to ice dams, even though insulation and ventilation will help prevent them it is still not fool proof. Winter is here, are you doing everything you can to prepare for it?

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