Yes, it’s August and I’m writing about Ice Dams. Winters in the North East are getting more intense over the past couple of years. You need to prep your home for these issues now to help prevent major issues when it’s more difficult to solve the problem. During the winter months, you will often see some houses with significant amounts of snow on the roof and others will have no snow. Counter-intuitively, the snowy roofs signify better-insulated homes, as the latter group’s snow has melted and formed. Spray foam can function as a solution for the problems associated with ice dams.
Ice dams form when an attic space becomes overly warm as heat escapes from the living space and also radiates from recessed light fixtures, ductwork, furnaces and other appliances. The heat in turn conducts through the sheathing and raises the temperature of the roof above the freezing point, which melts the snow and ice on contact with the roof surface. The snow and ice tends to melt in the areas just inside the perimeter of the exterior walls. Liquid water flows downward and refreezes as it passes over the roof overhangs, just above the soffit vents. The resulting ice buildup at the edge of the roof and in the gutters forms a dam. The liquid continues to gather and form as snow forms on the warm roof surface, it flows over and ice begins to slowly form and create icicles along the edge of the roof.
Ice dams aren’t just indications of poor insulation; they can also cause serious damage to your home. Melted snow and ice can soak the roof deck under the shingles. The water can drip down on the ceiling or leak into areas where the roof connects to the exterior walls. Wet walls and ceilings are potential areas for mold and mildew growth. The ice can also fall and crack down onto a passerby and create mini avalanches out at your doorway.
A key way to solve this problem is to offer sufficient insulating and sealing attic spaces with spray foam. The foam is applied to the roofing deck, along rim joist and it will evenly and efficiently seal the attic space to regulate the temperature of your home throughout the year. Well-insulated rooflines prevent the transfer of heat to the roof surface and thereby prevent the formation of ice dams. Another added benefit would be to increase the size of your gutter area will help a great deal; giving a great deal of space for the water to flow off your room and away from the house.
If you would like to discuss protecting your home from ice dams this coming winter or simply have Executive Craftsman come out to inspect your home with a free evaluation please give us a call at 203-324-6383. We have been serving lower Fairfield County for over 20 years with expertise in building for living.