Ice dams cause major water damage and promote mold and mildew growth. The ice forms when the bottom layer of snow on your roof melts due to attic warming. The melted snow runs down to the gutters where it refreezes and forms an ice dam. The ice dam then traps water, which can leak into the attic and cause thousands of dollars in damages.
How to Prevent Ice Dams
You can prevent ice dams by keeping the attic as cool and dry as possible. In many ice dam cases, heat from the living space escapes into the attic and warms the air. This warm air heats the roof and melts the snow. The trick is to keep your attic at the same temperature as the eaves to prevent ice dams from occurring.
Some steps you can take to prevent ice dams include:
- Ventilating the eaves and the ridge for better circulation
- Covering the hatch to keep heat from escaping
- Ensuring the ducts lead outdoors through the walls, not the soffit
- Adding insulation to keep the heat out of the attic
- Installing sealed can lights
- Placing L-shaped flashing around the chimney
- Sealing and insulating open spaces around the ducts
- Caulking all penetrations around cables and vent pipes
When ice dams have caused damage to your home, turn to a certified damage specialist to assess the situation. If you don’t take action, the water damage can promote mold and mildew growth and weaken your home’s structure. A damage specialist knows what to look for and how to remedy the problem before it gets out of hand.