making decisions about roof replacements

making decisions about roof replacements

2 Strategies To Keep Ice Dams From Forming On Your Roof

by Lorraine Fisher

Icicles forming along the edge of a roof are one of the magical parts of winter. Yet the formation of ice dams--large sheets of ice forming at your roof's margins--can lead to leaks and other costly forms of damage. If your roof is prone to developing ice dams and you would like to learn more about how to avoid them, read on. This article will present two strategies for keeping your roof clear of unwanted ice.

The Problem

When the temperatures are far enough below zero, ice dams don't present any real threat. That's because they're frozen solid. But as the temperatures begin to creep upward they begin to melt, often allowing water to seep up underneath the shingles and into your attic. This process is often exacerbated by a warm attic, which causes snow to melt and run down to the relatively colder edges of the roof, where it freezes up again. This in turn makes it harder for water to drain properly off of the roof.

The two strategies discussed here all have to do with lowering the temperature inside of your attic--and thereby reducing the uneven snow melt that leads to the formation of ice dams.

Plug Attic Gaps

You'd be surprised how much hot air escapes into attics through the gaps around lights, vents, plumbing pipes and other fixtures that pass through the ceiling in the top floor of your home. The good news is that sealing such gaps is fairly easy. Not only that, but in addition to reducing ice dams, sealing gaps will also greatly impact the overall energy efficiency of your home.

Take a trip up into the attic and lift up the insulation in any areas where such fixtures exist. Check for uninsulated gaps around these items. Gaps smaller than 1/4" can be effectively plugged with caulk; anything larger will be better attended to using a low-expansion polyurethane spray foam.

Increase Your Level Of Insulation

While you're up in the attic, it's a good idea to evaluate your level of insulation. All this requires is a ruler to measure the depth of the insulating material covering the floor of the attic. To prevent unwanted heat loss--and thus ice dams--there should be between 10 and 14 inches of insulation present. If your insulation falls short of this level, make a point to have more added as soon as possible. This will keep the heat that should be inside of your home from causing problems by melting the snow on top of your roof. 

If ice dams have damaged your roof, call Davis Bros Roofing.


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making decisions about roof replacements

Is the roof on your home ready for replacement? If so, do you know what type of roofing you are going to have installed to replace it? Will you have the existing roof removed, or just have the home re-roofed? You will face several decisions while you work to replace the roof on your home. Scroll through my site to find a great list that can help you decide what product and method of installation will be best for your home. Hopefully, the information provided will take some of the confusion and stress out of this big, important home improvement project.