How Do I Prevent Ice Dams on My Roof?

How Do I Prevent Ice Dams on My Roof?

August 30, 2020

Ice dams and icicles can wreak havoc on your roof, despite how pretty they may look. Preventing them from forming is the best way to keep your roof in good shape throughout the winter and as the snow starts melting. Not only will they damage your roof, but having extra water around your home’s foundation is never a good thing. Here are some simple tips for ice dam prevention in Traverse City, MI.

The basic theory behind preventing ice dams is to make sure that the roof is the same temperature as the eaves. This requires sealing air leaks and improving your insulation—but once it’s done, you’ll enjoy energy savings throughout the year, and will avoid ice dams in the winter. Here are some tips:

  • Add more insulation: Adding insulation to your attic floor will help seal in heat for the rest of your home, while keeping the roof cool. If you haven’t updated your insulation in a few years, it’s worth checking with your local building department to find out if you need to add more.
  • Check the exhaust: Your heater, dryer and kitchen or bathroom vents need to send hot air outside, whether that’s through the roof or the walls. The problem, however, is if the vents go through the soffit. You’ll need to redo the ductwork to keep your roof in good shape.
  • Check the ventilation: Your eaves and ridge should have vents, which will circulate cold air underneath the roof. Both soffit and ridge vents need about one square foot of opening space for every 300 square feet of attic space. Your roofing contractor can install baffles, which will help make a clear path for airflow.
  • Get your flashing fixed: Your roof—especially around the chimney—needs good flashing and sealant to prevent heat from escaping. Have your roofing contractor check the flashing to make sure yours is sufficient, or replace your old flashing.
  • Put a cap on it: If you have a whole-house fan or an uncapped attic hatch, heat will escape through the roof. Purchase foil caps, available at most home improvement stores, and secure them with aluminum weatherstripping tape.
  • Replace recessed lighting: Older recessed lighting gives off a lot of heat, and insulating above the fixtures creates a fire hazard. Instead, use sealed IC fixtures.
  • Seal your ducts: Your roofing or HVAC contractor can help you thoroughly seal (and insulate) your ductwork. R-5 or R-6 foil-faced fiberglass is effective for this purpose.

Taking these steps will ensure that your attic temperatures remain in an ideal range, preventing ice dams from forming. It will also improve your insulation, which prevents heat transfer all year long. With a little extra effort, you’ll stay warm in the winter and cooler in the summer without breaking the bank.

When you need a roofing contractor in Traverse City, MI, get in touch with Qualified Roofing. We offer 5 to 7 percent discounts for flexible springtime scheduling, so get in touch to get started. We look forward to working with you.

Categorised in: