Ice dams are a potential danger to your roof which could end up costing you a lot of money and headache to repair. This stage however can be skipped by practicing the two most popular and effective methods of preventing ice dams including:
- Cold Roofs
- Maintaining a cold roof- this is one of the best ways of preventing ice dams as it ensures ice does not have an ideal venue for accumulating on the roof. For this to be done effectively, make sure that the ceiling is properly insulated in order to minimize heat loss. This can be done simply with a flash light to ensure that all systems are in place.
- Opening channels that will be used for cold air to pass through the attic is another effective method that can be used for preventing ice dams. This can be done simply by installing soffit vents. It is also recommended that you attach baffles that are specifically designed for this purpose under the roof sheathing. This helps you to insulate the top of the wall while at the same time compressing extra insulation to be used in the restricted area.
- Expanding foam or caulk can also be used as another method for sufficiently preventing ice dams. This is mostly used to seal any gaps that are found around pipes or electric cables that pass through top plates found on the walls of the room located below the attic. You can also weather strip the attic door or weather strip insulate and pull down attic stairs. It can also help if you cover and seal recessed light fixtures. This however has to be approached with a lot of caution as only Type IC can be worked on. Make sure you read all the warning signs to be on the safe side. Failure to follow the instructions can lead to overheating and fires.
- Keeping attic vents open is another solution for preventing ice dams. This ensures that the heat that comes from living area into the attic escapes through the vent before it has a chance to warm the roof. Measure the opening of the vents accordingly so that they can work right.
- Create another line of defense
- Electric heat wires/tapes that have been thermostatically controlled can be installed as a means of preventing ice dams. This should be done in zigzag motion on the lower part of the roof and gutters. This is best done by an electrician or an individual who is electrical savvy to be done in the best way possible.
- A nailable waterproof membrane can also be installed on the roof. This is done on a point that is directly above the exterior wall. This is best done when you are undertaking a roofing project. Snow guards can also be used to prevent ice and snow from dislodging and sliding from the roof which can lead to damaging of gutters. If you have tried all methods in the book without satisfactory results, it might be time to call in a home inspector. This is a professional who will evaluate the situation and give you practical solutions.