Ice damming is caused by the continual melting and refreezing of the snow on your roof. The upper part of your roof deck is heated by the warm air in the attic, causing snow to melt and run down the roof toward the eaves. Because the eaves extend over the attic, they remain cold and the water refreezes. Ice dams on the roof cause water to back up underneath the shingles or fascia boards, leading to potential damage to the roof deck and even the ceilings and walls in your home.
Ice Damming: Leak Protection
To protect against leaks, an effective leak barrier, a form of underlayment, should be installed on your eaves underneath the shingles. Different types of underlayment may be used depending on the slope of your roof and other conditions. Lower slope roofs will require a more specialized ice and water protector.
Underlayment keeps backed up water from entering your home but it doesn’t prevent ice dams from forming.
Ice Damming Solutions
Ice dams on a roof can be prevented by keeping the attic space cool. This can be accomplished through proper insulation and ventilation. Insulation helps keep warm air from your home out of the attic, and ventilation removes any excess heat from the attic. Increasing the R-Value of your insulation will not only help protect against ice dams but will reduce your heating and cooling costs. Your roofing contractor should install a proper amount of ventilation.
Don’t Take Chances
Water backups can cause serious damage to your roof and the rest of your home. Furthermore, shingle manufacturers’ warranties generally do not cover leaks caused by water backup. Protect yourself by ensuring you hire a roofing contractor that will install proper eave underlayment and ventilation.