How To Prevent Ice Dams

When winter hits, it is the time to think about possible damage to your roof from ice dams. Ice dams occur when the snow on your roof melts and drips down into your gutters or sits at the edge of your roof. If the water freezes where the water collected, it turns into ice. There will either be gutters filled with ice, or icicles at the edge of your roof. Ice dams can be disastrous, causing damage to your roof and requiring repairs. Here are some helpful tips for preventing ice dams.

Improve Your Ventilation

Ice dams occur as a result of melting of the snow and ice that is on the roof, then it re-freezes where it falls at the edge of your roof. This premature melting is often from lack of proper ventilation in your attic or roof. You need to have vents that circulate cold air underneath your roof. The roof and attic of your home will be hotter than the rest of your home, but with the right ventilation through soffit vents and ridge vents, you can prevent it from getting too hot too quickly.

Add Insulation

Insulation is just as important as ventilation, especially if you have an attic in your home. You want to keep heat in the attic and only on the attic floor. The problem is that heat rises and it often causes your roof to become too hot, which then melts the snow and ice to create ice dams. If you can add better insulation to your attic, you can prevent this from happening.

Repair the Vents

If you think you might have problems with your vents that are offering the right amount of ventilation, get them repaired immediately. You should check all exterior vents going through the roof, walls, and even your clothes dryer. Also check the ducts and vents inside your home, including in the basement, bathrooms, and kitchen. With these repairs, the air will circulate properly throughout your home and avoid your roof or attic from getting too hot.

Cover the Attic Hatch

Heat often escapes through the attic by going through the attic hatch. If you have an attic hatch, make sure it is sealed or at least covered. If you use a whole house fan, you don't want to seal it. In this case, simply close or cover the hatch in the winter so that you can prevent heat from escaping to the roof's surface where it melts snow and causes ice dams. Weather-stripped caps are a great way to cover the hatch.

For more tips on ventilating, repairing, and sealing your home properly, contact a company such as All American Air & Electric, Inc.