Ice dams that are forming on a homeowner's roof usually indicate that there are insulation and ventilation problems within the attic or the area below the roof. Finding the underlying cause of the ice dams will not only stop them from occurring but will help to preserve the life the roof as well. Homeowners with severe ice dams might consider having a Bergen County roofing expert inspect their home's roof.
One major factor leading to the buildup of ice dams is an insufficiently insulated attic or roof space. Without proper insulation, hot air from heat and steam within the home will escape into the attic or roof space where it will cause snow on the exterior roof surface to melt. The water then flows down to the colder surfaces of the eaves where it freezes and forms ice dams. As the process continues, the ice dams grow larger.
One way homeowners can solve ice dams is to determine if their attic or area immediately below the roof is insulated with the right R value. Generally, the higher the R value, which represents each inch of thickness, the greater the insulation will work in reducing the flow of cold and heat traveling in and out of the home. For instance, insulation with ratio values from R30 to R49 is appropriate for homeowners living in warmer climates, and insulation ranging from R49 to R60 works best for those in cold geographies.
The expert roofers at All Professional Remodeling in Bergen County NJ can assist you with any questions regarding roofing, skylights or siding.
If the R value is too low, the homeowner can apply extra insulation on the attic floor or in the area below the roof to make up the difference.
Moreover, gaps or dark spots in the attic insulation are usually signs that warm air is leaking into the attic. Adding insulation to these areas is another way to prevent ice dams.
A lack of adequate ventilation is an additional common cause of ice dams. A thoroughly ventilated attic will keep the roof's surface cold so that melting will not occur. While ridge, soffit and gable vents are helpful, they are not sufficient modes of ventilation. In order to keep the roof deck and attic cool and dry, air must be able to circulate by entering the lower roof edges or building eaves and exiting the ridge.
To ensure that a homeowner's roof is correctly insulated and ventilated, the roof should be checked before each cold season. Besides locating and correcting any unseen heat leaks in the attic, a professional roofer can install various modes of ventilation that will decrease the chances of ice dams from appearing.