What causes ice damming?
Ice damming can be caused by a number of problems – but it all comes down to adequate insulation and air flow under your roof. As you turn up your thermostat in the winter, that heat can rise through a poorly insulated attic and warm up your roof – melting the snow. That water from the melted snow slowly drips down to the edge of your roof, where it is not heated by the interior of your home, and refreezes. This creates a thick sheet of ice that prevents the rest of the melting snow from draining.
At its essence, ice damming is a sign that your roof is not evenly heated. And problems are building up. Randy Miller, owner of Allrite Home & Remodeling explains why ice damming occurs and how you can fix it.
How do I know if I have an ice damming problem?
It’s easier than you might think. The first thing to do is to simply look at your roof. If you see a big patch of ice – you have an ice damming problem! More subtle signs include water stains where your roof and exterior walls meet or condensation in your attic.
It sounds scary – but fear not! S & E Insulation, a division of Allrite, is here to help make your home comfortable, dry and free from ice dams.
Solution #1: Add insulation
Our goal is to keep your entire roof at an even temperature. When our insulation experts add more insulation to your attic floor, heat will stay in your living space – right where it should be. This will prevent heat collecting in the attic and unevenly warming your roof. With the whole roof staying an even temperature, the snow will properly melt and drain. You also might just see your energy bill drop as your house starts heating more efficiently!
Solution #2: Add ventilation
Another way to keep your roof an even temperature is to increase ventilation and air circulation. Our expert technicians will examine your attic and identify places where ventilation is needed. Often, a ridge vent and continuous soffit ventilation is needed to ensure that there is enough circulation under your roof. After we install additional vents, the whole area will heat evenly — preventing ice damming!
Solution #3: Add air sealing
Along with assessing your home for needed insulation and ventilation, we’ll thoroughly examine the space for points of air leakage. As shown in the diagram below, vents, recessed lighting, windows and chimneys are just some of the places where outside air can leak in to your home and inside air can leak out. This air flow can cause uneven temperatures in your attic which lead to ice damming. To keep your home comfortable and energy efficient, it’s important to not only adequately insulate, but properly air seal as well.