Attic VentilationHomeowner ResourcesIdentityRoof Ventilation And Ice Dams

March 11, 2022

“Breaking The Ice”: How Our Roof Ventilation Protects Your Home From Dangerous Ice Dams

Ice Dams Can Pose A Major Problem For Your Roof And Can Even Be A Serious Safety Hazard.  Here Is Our Preventative Advice.

Ice dams can be DISASTROUS for your home, and most roofing contractors in Central MA simply don’t take them seriously enough.  If they did, they would put a greater emphasis on proper roof ventilation.

Many roofers don’t even have the training and expertise to do the job competently, much less perfectly.  So, in many cases, it just gets left undone.

What’s the worst that could happen, you may ask?

Well, the worst case scenario is a buildup of carbon monoxide or the blocked vent causing a fire.  Even though that is unlikely, your air may not circulate properly, which is NOT good, especially if anyone in your household is asthmatic or prone to allergies.

But, wait, there’s more!

Ice dams can also tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to collect under your roofing.  This can be DEVASTATING, since the water can seep into your attic insulation, ceiling, and walls.

So, instead of just a roof and gutter problem, you have a sagging ceiling and the perfect conditions for MAJOR mold and mildew buildup.  Depending on how bad the problem is, your floors, walls, and paint can all succumb to water damage too.

What Are Ice Dams?

Ice dams are patches of ice that start to build up in your rain gutters and on the edges of your roof.  Because they block the gutters, they prevent gravity from doing its job and draining the melting ice.

Instead of directing the flow of melting ice and snow OFF your roof, it creates a blockage ON it.  This creates a wall of ice that gets higher and higher.

Unless you’re building an ice sculpture or trying to keep out the White Walkers, a wall of ice is NOT a good thing, and they can be mighty hard to remove once they form.

What’s more, with the long, harsh winters we get in New England, these ice dams can have time to accumulate mass and cause major problems.  If the weather never warms up, ice dams can continue getting larger and larger until they block your ventilation or cause your roof to sag.

How Setting Up Your Roof Ventilation System Properly PREVENTS Ice Dams

Unless you properly ventilate your attic space, warm air will follow its natural course and rise towards the uppermost part of your roof.

The ice and snow that has collected there will get warm enough to melt, and the water will drain towards the edges.  Then, at the edges of your roof where the surface is cooler, it will freeze back into ice.

To prevent this situation, everything needs to be balanced.  People often assume extra exhaust ventilation improves air quality, but the OPPOSITE is true.  Your intake ventilation must be EQUAL to your exhaust ventilation to maintain proper airflow.

As long as your ventilation system is directing the airflow out appropriately, snow should follow its natural course and melt evenly as the weather warms up, without blocking your gutters.

Contact Solid State Construction

This is why it pays to have your roof replaced by meticulous nerds who have practiced, studied, and prepared enough to ensure perfection.  We’ve seen what happens when ice dams are allowed to wreak havoc on a roof, but we also know EXACTLY how to prevent them from forming.

Please give us a call or schedule a virtual consultation online.  We have the skill, passion, and people to make sure every detail is perfectly in place.

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