How To Protect Your Home From Ice Dams

How Ice Dams Form

During the winter weather, your heated home becomes a catalyst for creating ice dams. This happens due to the heat that travels into the attic which warms the roof decking. When this heat is combined with sunlight, it melts the snow off your roof very quickly. At this point, the snow runs down the eaves of your house as water and once it contacts the cold eaves and gutters, it refreezes.

When it continues to thaw and refreeze, this cycle creates ice dams and when it continues to do this, water gets backed up under the roof shingles. As a consequence, this water soaks through the roof decking or the wall sheathing, and causes damage to the attic, ceilings, and walls.

Ways to Defend Against Ice Dams

Don’t let the liberty of heating your home get the best of your warmth during the cold winter days! Know that there are ways to defend against the impending ice dams when you encounter the harsh winter season.

Attic Insulation

When your home is well insulated, you are taking the first step towards preventing the formation of ice dams. However, if your home’s heat loss is mainly attributed to the attic space, which statistics say is 85%, your house is wasting not only energy, but your money too!

When it comes to measuring the amount of heat your home provides, it is determined by the R-value. The higher the R-value, the more insulation your attic is getting. However, homes that were built before the 1970s most likely have an R-value of 11 or less and require further maintenance to keep the heat from escaping. By today’s standards, R-values should be measured as a high of 38 or more.

Attic Ventilation

When you improve attic ventilation, you are helping to reduce bills as well as promoting shingle life. Ventilation works alongside attic insulation to remove excess heat and to keep the roof deck cool. This prevents the snow from melting on the roof and most importantly prevents ice dams!

For the most effective ventilation system to have in your house, place the roof vents near the roof’s peak and soffit vents in the eaves. This will promote smooth airflow through the roof vents as well as ultimately create better attic ventilation.

Waterproofing Shingle Underlayment

The third and final step to add towards efficient attic ventilation and insulation is waterproofing shingle underlayment. This can be achieved through applying a solution such as WinterGuard towards the underlayment of your roof which creates a protective barrier between any leaks from your roof and applied shingles. By waterproofing your shingle underlayment, it is the safety net towards protecting your roof’s most vulnerable of places.

With WinterGuard in place, know that it is resistant to water and defends against water buildup and leaks. You can rest assured that taking on this safety measure will give you the peace of mind you need to know that your house is well guarded against ice dams.


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