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How To Prevent Roof Ice Dams

Prevent Roof Ice Dams CT

Winter weather brings with it plenty of extra work for homeowners to worry about each year. In fact, every winter across the US cold weather brings hidden dangers around the home and of these, ice dams are among the worst. Ice dams can cause major damage to your roof, walls and ceilings if they are not taken care of properly. But luckily, with a few home maintenance steps, homeowners can prevent ice dams from taking hold and keep their roofs at a cool 30ºF or below all winter long.

How To: Prevent Ice Dams from Forming on the Roof

Proper Ventilation

To help keep cold air constantly circulating up on your roof, be sure to properly ventilate the eaves and ridge. By pairing a ridge vent with continuous soffit vents and utilizing baffles at the eaves, you can easily create a clear path for proper air flow. Both vents should have the same sized opening and at least 1 sq ft of opening for every 300 sq ft of attic floor.

Direct Exhaust Outside the Home

Double check that any ducts that are connected to your kitchen, dryer and bathroom are exiting the home via the roof itself or the walls of the home. ducts and vents that exist the home through the soffit will only increase the chance for ice dams and other complications later on down the line.

Lock Heat Inside

Prevent heat from escaping the home through the roof by covering your attic hatch or whole-house fan. For a quick and easy solution try using weather-stripped caps. Made from a foil-faced foam board and held together with aluminum foil tape, these caps are lightweight and very easy to use.

Stop Air Leakage and Reduce Energy Usage

This is the perfect opportunity for homeowners to reduce their energy usage and lock heat in the home by closing up attic bypasses. Use the cold weather to your favor by entering the attic and combing back insulation. Plug any leaks with foam, caulk or other methods to prevent warm air escaping to the roof. As a rule of thumb, remember to always wear a mask and keep skin covered when working with insulation to limit contact and avoid irritation.

Check Your Insulation Level

Take the time to check the insulation level in your attic and if necessary, add more insulation on the attic floor to help keep heat where it belongs. Most building codes require anywhere from 12 to 14 inches of fiberglass or cellulose in the attic. If you have less than 8 inches in your attic it is time to add a bit more to help lock in heat where it belongs.


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1 Comment
  1. I have lived in Utah and roofs can get completely destroyed from Ice. I am impressed that there are people that go out and take care of problems like this. I would like to have known about this.

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